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Ruby for Women A voice for every Christian woman February, February, 2012

“Her worth is far above rubies” Proverbs: 31:10


Contents February, 2012 www.rubyforwomen.ning.com

In This Issue . . . Page 4

Have You Noticed? Nina Newton, Sr. Editor

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Unending Love Amanda Johnson

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“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 February is the month of love! How that came to be is an interesting story which you can read about in this issue of the Ruby for Women magazine. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for us to remember how much our Heavenly Father loves us. You are loved so much, that the God of the universe made a way for you to live with Him eternally. Ruby for Women is a place where you can learn about that love that God has for you!

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February Book Give-Away: The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall

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World Changers Marcia Settles

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“The Hand that Rocks the Cradle”

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White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies Vintage Mama

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For the Sake of Our Prodigals Mimi Spurlock

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Kid’s Craft Corner Sarah Johnson

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Love is a Many Splendored Thing Kristin Bridgman

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VIC February Creative Challenge Vintage Image Craft

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A Few Tweets from a Snow Bird Aunt Dots

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Italian Tiramisu Vintage Mama

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“Clothe Yourself Therefore . . . .” Keith Wallis

Senior Editor Nina Newton Assistant Editor Amanda Johnson Creative Assistant Katherine Corrigan Family Fun Editor Beth Brubaker Gardening Dorothy Homer Devotions Lynn Mosher, Deborah McCarragher Poetry Keith Wallis, Lee E. Shilo Quilting Laura Brandt Feature Writers Carol Mokry, Connie Arnold, Kristin Bridgman, Amy Lignor, Sheila Watson Kraklow, Scott Henderson, Theresa Ceniccola, Scarlett Von Gunten, Charlotte Siems, Yvonne Anderson, Angela Blake Morris, Kausar Iqbal, Elizabeth Baker, Maxine Young, Pauline Creeden, Yvonne Carson, Kendra Peterson, Mimi Spurlock, Sarah Johnson, Marcia Settles

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Ruby for Women is an online Christian women’s magazine that offers words of hope, inspiration, and encouragement to women everywhere. Knowing that every woman has a story to tell, we seek to give a “voice to every Christian woman,” from all walks of life, of every age, from all around the world. For advertising inquiries, please contact our Advertising Administrator, Angela Morris at amorris@rubyforwomen.com If you would like to share your story with Ruby for Women, please email our Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Also, please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com where you can connect with other Christian women. Ruby for Women 2731 W 700 N Columbia City, IN 46725 1 editor@rubyforwomen.com


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February Number Block Puzzle Beth Brubaker

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Introducing Rob Hammes, Songwriter

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The Heel Sarah Johnson

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A Kitten’s Tale Craft Tutorial mamas*little*treasures

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How to Turn Your Life Verse into a Spiritual Vision Board Theresa Ceniccola

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Beautiful Silk Painting Kausar Iqbal, EWM Studios

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Love’s Open Door Elizabeth Baker Footprints in the Mud: “Who’s Obedient?” Beth Brubaker What Does Love Mean to You? Lynn Mosher

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Betsy McCall Valentine Paper Doll February, 1959

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The Story of St. Valentine by Vintage Mama Illustration by Rebecca Evans

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“Kiss”

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Valentine’s Day Treasure Envelopes mamas*little*treasures

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February Run Double Puzzle Beth Brubaker

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“I Glance Up” Keith Wallis

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Pink Lemonade Cupcakes in a Jar Vintage Mama

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“A Pillow Undisturbed” Keith Wallis

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The Assignment Elizabeth Baker

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Ask Beth Beth Brubaker

Number Block Answer Key Beth Brubaker

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The Angel Chronicles Amy Lignor

Double Puzzle Answer Key Beth Brubaker

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The Ruby for Women Writers

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Credits and Copyrights

I Heart You! Fun Family Crafts Sarah Johnson

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Bible Block Wedding Sampler “Contrary Wife” Laura Brandt

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Gossamer Wings Publications

My Old Bible Nina Newton

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Page 47 Elegant Vintage Valentine Clock Craft Vintage Image Craft

Pinkalicious Cupcakes in a Jar Vintage Mama

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The Many Symbols of Valentine’s Day Vintage Image Craft

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Love One Another Thomas B. Clarke

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A Strange Purchase Lee E. Shilo

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Introducing”Littluns” by Mark Glamack

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Keith Wallis

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www.tatterstotreasures.com 2


Great American Pie Month

Black History Month

National Cherry Month

American Heart Month

February 1: National Freedom Day February 2: Ground Hog Day February 4: Thank a Mailman Day February 5: National Weatherman’s Day February 7: Send a Card to a Friend Day February 8: Boy Scout Day February 10: Umbrella Day February 11: Make a Friend Day February 12: Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday February 14: Valentine’s Day

February 15: National Gum Drop Day February 17: Random Acts of Kindness Day February 20: Cherry Pie Day February 20: President’s Day February 22: George Washington’s Birthday February 22: Be Humble Day February 26: Carnival Day February 26: Tell a Fairy Tale Day February 27: Polar Bear Day February 28: National Tooth Fairy Day 3


Have You Noticed? by Nina Newton, Sr. Editor “If I can’t find God in the ordinary places of life, either I’m not looking hard enough or he’s not nearly as approachable as I need him to be. This is a paradox too. God appears in all the ordinary places, burning bushes, naked Barbies, plumbing disasters. But when he does, those places become holy. Moses had to take his shoes off.” ~from an interview with Marcus Goodyear, Barbies at Communion While folding the laundry one morning I was reminded (for some reason memories long-buried seem to surface while doing the most mundane tasks!) of times as a young wife and mother when it seemed that my life was on endless treadmill of drudgery, with no appreciation, recognition, or value to what I was doing every day, all day long. That was partly a result of my personal struggle with hearing every word that was whispered or shouted into my heart from the world around me, including my Christian community. Even the silence was an overwhelming voice that seemed to remind me that "just" being a stay-at-home mom was insignificant, and the daily responsibilities that come with caring for several small children were not really very important . . . . but gee, someone has to do it, so I guess I should just put a smile on my face and carry on. As time went by, however, I encountered opportunities to discover that there was a different way of looking at the hidden life of a woman in her home. I've written about this book before, so in passing I will just refer to one of the first books I found that inspired me to realize that my calling as a wife and mother was "ordinary" but it was also extraordinary - at least in God's eyes. That book was "The Hidden Art of Homemaking," by Edith Schaeffer, and in that little book I learned that everything I do, every day, including the “ordinary”

tasks of cooking, cleaning, and caring for small children is an opportunity to express the creativity that God has put into my soul. Because, after all, if we truly believe that we are created in His image, that will include creativity in one degree or another because He is (obviously!) a creative being. So when I think about those "ordinary places of life" where God shows up, it is not surprising to me that He is, indeed, actually THERE. Little moments to treasure, that we just might miss if we aren't looking, like the day that we moved the bookcase in the hallway and there, scrawled in childish handwriting, I read: "I love you, Mom." This beautiful and cherished little piece of childhood (which had apparently been hidden behind that bookcase for several years!) was a touching reminder that even things like children secretly writing on walls (which of course they should never, ever do!) can be a gift from God. So, as we removed all of the old wallpaper so that we could paint the hallway, that particular piece of wallpaper was carefully preserved and now has its very own page in a scrapbook. Memories . . . . . Or the other night when Annie came across a card that I was going to give my husband, just because I love him, and she sweetly took it upon herself to write on the envelope: To Daddy, From Mama and Annie. Of course, we all love our Daddy! Ordinary gifts from our Heavenly Father to remind us of the truth. Time keeps ticking off the minutes, days, and years and we must stop long enough to see Him in the simple, regular events of every day. Even if those ordinary things are dollies in their birthday suits, roller skates clattering along the sidewalk, or unexpected hugs from a child. I'll take them all, especially the regular ol' ordinary stuff! 4


Unending Love by Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor

February is a time to celebrate love. For me, it’s also a time to celebrate, honor, and remember our loved ones and the history that each of us have built and continue to build together. Last month I drove my grandpa to Texas to see his sister one last time. She was diagnosed with lung cancer just before Christmas. The cancer is spreading quickly and the doctors are unsure how much time she has left. It was a sad reunion given the circumstances, but at the same time it was also a gathering filled with warm memories, laughter, and numerous stories of times past. Sitting in her small apartment surrounded by family I hadn’t seen in decades was a blessing and a beautiful reminder of the rich family history and the love shared through several generations.

When we said our goodbyes, tears flowed and hugs were unending. It was sad knowing this will be the last time we will see my grandpa’s sister on this side of eternity, but by the grace of God we’re able to hang on to the promise that it won’t be the last time we see her. The root of our family history and the love that keeps us together is the very root that will unite us again in our Father’s house. Through Jesus Christ we have been redeemed and have been given the gift of eternal life (John 3:16). Take time this month to celebrate the love that holds family and friends together whether close or far apart. Above all, hang on to the eternal gift of love from the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.

Introducing the Ruby for Women Administrative Team Over the past two years, the ministry of Ruby for Women has grown into a full-time ministry for several women here in the Ruby community. We have been blessed to be able to partner with women from all over the United States in the work of Ruby for Women, and we are currently in the process of adding four new administrators to our team. If you would be interested in joining the Ruby for Women administrative team, please email our assistant editor, Amanda Johnson, at ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com . The members of the Ruby for Women Administrative Team are: Sr. Editor, Nina Newton Assistant Editor, Amanda Johnson Advertising Administrator, Angela Morris Affiliate Administrator and Pastor at Ruby for Women, Carol Mokry Creative Consultant and Graphic Designer, Katherine Corrigan

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February Book Give-Away The Bridge of Peace by Cindy Woodsmall Headstrong schoolteacher Lena Kauffman finds herself at the center of controversy in her Amish community when a young man in her classroom refuses to submit to her authority. As her friends and family rally around her, especially longtime friend, Grey Graber, things go from bad to worse when Grey’s wife, Elsie, becomes an accidental target in trouble meant for Lena. As the present unravels around them, each must find their own way through their private pain in order to find peace and a brighter future. This second novel in the Ada’s House series returns to Dry Lake, Pennsylvania, and the beloved characters from The Hope of Refuge. If you would like to enter the January Book Give-Away at Ruby for Women, please visit the Ruby blog and leave a comment, including your email address. You will be contacted for your mailing address if you are the winner. The drawing will take place on February 1, 2012.

www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com

www.theresaceniccola.com 6


World Changers by Marcia Settles Work. We all have to do some form of it sometime. (Okay, maybe not if you are an heiress, but even they try to take on the appearance that they are productive in some capacity.) The feminist movement (I am NOT talking about a woman’s right to vote and equal opportunity, but rather the extreme “men are the source of all evil” and a woman can-do-it-all and is better-than-man mentality. I know this mentality - I used to flaunt it) has somehow influenced our culture to think that being a stay-at-home mom is degrading to women. Even those of us who choose to stay home often will answer the question of, “Where do you work” with “I’m just a stay-at-home mom”. Just. As if this makes us inferior somehow. I mean, how could we possibly climb the ladder of success when we aren’t even on the ladder? I am reminded of a girl I knew in college. We were more acquaintances than anything. We had friends of friends, that sort of thing. She once verbally attacked a classmate who admitted during a class discussion that she always wanted to get married and have children. The girl lashed out with, “Why the xxxx are you in college then?” My acquaintance thought it utterly disgusting that any young woman would aspire to such goals. Apparently she thought marriage and motherhood was reserved for the uneducated or at least only after a woman has conquered the world. College. When we basked in the ignorance of knowing it all. Now while I adore being a stay-at-home mom, hold tight to my role as their primary teacher and consider it an honor to do what I do, I by no means am taking the opposite stance as my college acquaintance. I do not consider a woman who works outside of the home to be living a life that is worthless. Second to bringing my children to the saving knowledge of Christ, is my goal to help them discover God’s purpose for their lives. God has gifted every individual with special talents and strengths to be used for His purpose, for His glory. It is the job of all parents to help their children find their talents and provide the best possible circumstances in which they can strengthen those talents and use them for His glory. Some women are gifted in such a way to make fine doctors, public school teachers, daycare guardians, business administrators etc. Working outside the home, though, is not our greatest purpose if we have children. We mothers need to understand that whether we work at home, from home or outside the home, we are in a prime position to change the world. Remember Whitney Houston’s hit, The Greatest Love of All? It begins with “I believe the children are the future”. The logic of that is irrefutable. What we need to remember though is that we mothers mold the future. Whatever decisions we make concerning our children - to keep them at home or place them in daycare, to home school or place in public or private school - influences who they become as adults. That is the future. 7


The Hand That Rocks the Cradle The Hand that rocks the Cradle Is the Hand That Rules The World Blessings on the hand of women! Angels guard its strength and grace, In the palace, cottage, hovel, Oh, no matter where the place; Would that never storms assailed it, Rainbows ever gently curled; For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world. Infancy's the tender fountain, Power may with beauty flow, Mother's first to guide the streamlets, From them souls unresting grow-Grow on for the good or evil, Sunshine streamed or evil hurled; For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world. Woman, how divine your mission Here upon our natal sod! Keep, oh, keep the young heart open Always to the breath of God! All true trophies of the ages Are from mother-love impearled; For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world. Blessings on the hand of women! Fathers, sons, and daughters cry, And the sacred song is mingled With the worship in the sky-Mingles where no tempest darkens, Rainbows evermore are hurled; For the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world. ...William Ross Wallace Mothers shape the future. We are the real world changers. How seriously do you take this responsibility?

Marcia is a stay-at-home homeschool mom of a special learner and a toddler. She has resolved in 2012 to honor God in Spirit, Mind and Body. She enjoys reading and blogging about motherhood, nutrition, special needs and our honorable calling as women. You can check out her new blog at www.lovinggodwithspiritmindandbody.blogspot.com 8


White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies for a very special Valentine’s Day Treat For a party or for a special treat just for your family, these beautiful White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies will put a smile on everyone’s face this Valentine’s Day. What you need: ½ maraschino cherries, drained and chopped 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour ½ cup sugar 1 cup cold butter 12 ounces white chocolate baking squares with cocoa butter, finely chopped ½ tsp almond extract 2 drops red food coloring 2 tsp shortening Red, white, and pink candy sprinkles and / or colored sugar Let’s Make It! * Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread cherries on paper towels to drain well. * In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles find crumbs. Stir in drained cherries and 4 ounces (2/3 cup) of the chopped white chocolate. Stir in almond extract and food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball. * Shape dough into ¾” balls. Place balls 2” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using the bottom of a drinking glass dipped in sugar, flatten the balls to 1 ½” rounds. * Bake in preheated oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until centers are set. Cool for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. * In a small saucepan, combine remaining 8 ounces of the white chocolate and the shortening. Cook and stir over low heat until melted. Dip half of each cookie into chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. If desired, roll dipped edge in sprinkles or colored sugar. Place cookies on waxed paper until chocolate is set. Make about 60 cookies. * To store: Layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Adapted from a recipe found at Better Recipes. For more Valentine’s Day recipes, please visit www.betterrecipes.com

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For the Sake of Our Prodigals by Mimi Spurlock From the time he was a tiny toddler I bought him Valentine’s Day cards and gave him some little gift. He was my very special Valentine, that laughing toddler, little boy, adolescent, teenager, then young man. But now, there would be no more Valentines, no more birthday or Christmas gifts. Now, there was an empty place at the table and an empty space in my heart.

On July 11, 2008 Dane was killed in a motorcycle accident. My tears still flow as I write this article. And why am I telling his story? Because God stepped into the situation in such a mighty, miraculous way that the story has to be told.

Drug and alcohol addiction is a heinous monster in our communities today, weapons used by the enemy of our souls. Those weapons in his arsenal of attack cut deeply into the hearts and lives of our precious heritage, our children and grandchildren.

You see, a man named Bruce and his wife Mary obeyed the Lord's urging to stop and turn around after they had passed the scene of the accident as they were coming home from Bruce's biological father's funeral. The accident happened on Bruce Lane. What are the chances?

My 23-year old grandson, Dane, was always a delight to me. I loved that he always walked into the kitchen and checked out what Mimi had to eat. I loved to hear him laugh and he loved to make people laugh. I thought I knew everything there was to know about him. I was wrong.

There isn't space in this article to tell of all the wondrous things the Lord did after that. But I've written a book called And God Sent the Dragonflies which I pray will be published. God did, indeed, send those little winged creatures to me time after time.

Dane's behavior started to change when he was a senior. I blamed it on testosterone. Never did I think he was dabbling in drugs and alcohol. When my daughter and son-in-law (who was always such a good stepfather to Dane) found out about his problem, we agreed he would go to rehab. And he did.

I'll share one other thing with you. I had been asked to come to a church in Redwater, Texas to speak at the graduation of three men from the rehab center. The preacher was supposed to call me to let me know how long I would have to speak. On the evening before I was to speak he called.

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While Dane was in the Christian rehab he came back to the Lord, as so beautifully told in his journal: "First day at the Road (Road to Damascus Rehab Center) I rededicated my life to the Lord. It felt really, really good to be back in the Lord's presence and to know where I'll go when I die." That was written May 15, 2007.

He told me I wouldn't have long to speak because a young mother called to say her baby would be one-year old that Sunday, that her family was coming in for the baby's birthday, and she wondered if the pastor would dedicate the baby. He told her he would work it in. What he wanted to tell me, he said, is that the baby's name is Dane! The rest of the dragonfly story will come later. God still moves in the lives of His children.

My name is Mimi Spurlock. I live in beautiful East Texas where I am enjoying retirement. I attend Calvary Baptist Church and am a substitute teacher for our Ladies' Sunday School Class. Writing is something I have always loved. Little did I know how important that writing would be in the months following the death of my grandson, Dane. And our faithful Lord used writing and speaking at rehab centers to help bring healing to my grieving heart. I have one daughter and one grandson, Hagen, who is fifteen years old and loves to hunt and fish. He's quite good at both. I pray my article might somehow bless another heart. You can read Mimi’’s book, “And God Sent the Dragonflies,” at Authonomy http://www.authonomy.com/books/40949/and-god-sent-the-dragonflies/read-book/

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Kid’s Craft Corner! by Sarah Johnson Whether it’s rain, sleet, or snow that’s keeping you and your children indoors this season, here is a fun craft to keep those little hands busy. Bonus: You get to recycle some of those old CDs that have been collecting dust! I found this great idea (and many more) at www.greenkidcrafts.com. Happy creating! Materials: • • • • • • • •

Old CD Recycled felt or salvaged fabric Googly eyes (or just draw eyes in) Cotton balls Glue Scissors Pipe cleaners Paint (optional)

Directions: Start by tracing around the CD onto the felt and cutting out the circle. Glue the circle to the CD and start adding the facial details, depending on which kind of animal you want to make. You can cut out eyes, ears, and spots out of the felt. Use a cotton ball for the nose. Use the pipe cleaners for whiskers and arms. You can use paint to add more features, but you can get by without it. Same with the googly eyes; you can just draw in the animal’s eyes. Glue everything into place, let it all dry, and use them for room decorations, a mobile, magnets, gifts, and more! Image from Green Kid Crafts at www.greenkidcrafts.com

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Ruby for Women please contact us at editor@rubyforwomen.com for all the details

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Love Is a Many Splendored Thing by Kristin Bridgman

Love . . . the word is used in so many ways . . . I love my husband, I love my children, I love chocolate, I love thunderstorms, I love to write. There is parental love, brotherly love, true love, puppy love, and unconditional love. If I wanted to get a little theological, I could mention that agape, eros, and phileo are the three kinds of love mentioned in the Bible. But I’m not much of a theological kind of gal. I would be more into poetry. When I ponder on this subject, I can’t help but think of a line from one of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems…”How do I love thee, let me count the ways.” If God expressed this line, here is how He might answer . . . “I loved thee enough to create a beautiful world for you to live in.” “I loved thee enough to make you an individual with your own mind, not a robot, but one with free will to make your own choices.” “I loved thee enough to give you My Word to guide you in this world, to give you direction in making wise choices, to show you grace and mercy when you make bad choices, and to show my love through these pages.” “I loved thee enough to give you beautiful sunrises and sunsets, beautiful sounds, fragrant flowers, and people to love and be loved by.” “I loved thee enough to give you unconditional love, not a love based on feelings or emotions, or works by you.” “I loved thee enough to not give you all the answers on the earth, so you would learn about trust, to have faith, so we could have a lifetime of building a relationship, to have the fun of learning, so you could experience blessings each day, and learn to be a blessing to others.” “I loved thee enough to allow my Son to leave our kingdom to come be born on earth, to grow, to teach, and then to be mocked, tortured, and hung on the cross to die so your sins could be forgiven once and for all.” “I loved thee enough to raise him from the grave to show victory over death, to show you that you can claim victory over death if you so choose.” If we were to answer this toward God, how would it sound? It could sound like this… 12


“How do I love thee? I’ll let you know when my television shows are over, when my work is done, when I get some time off, when the vacation is over, after I’ve lived my life my way for awhile. I’ll let you know tomorrow, next week, next year, or… OR, it could sound like this… “I love thee enough to serve others in Christ’s name.” “I love thee enough to love the unlovable, to show your mercy and grace because you’ve shown me the same.” “I love thee enough to build a relationship with you continually.” “I love thee enough to have an ongoing dialogue with you and yet be still also to listen for your voice.” “I love thee enough to stop and smell your fragrant flowers, to stop and take in the beauty of your sunrises and sunsets, and to reach out and form friendships, sharing your love with them and my family.” “I love thee enough to accept your Son as my Lord and Savior, loving Him also for wiping my sins away, making me new, because of His sacrifice.” “I love thee enough to not forsake you when I’m around others, not to forsake you in my day to day living, to not forsake you in my thoughts or words.” “I love thee enough to model things that are true, noble, just, pure, and lovely.” “I love thee enough to forgive others, because you forgave me.” “I love thee enough to care about what you care about, to grieve over the things you grieve over, and rejoice over the things you rejoice over.” “I love thee enough to let love be my greatest aim.” When love comes from God and we can learn to love with this same kind of love . . . it is “a many splendored thing.” Read more of Kristin’s articles on her blog, Ponderings by Kris www.ponderingsbykris.blogspot.com

Be sure to visit

Ruby’s Reading Corner when you are shopping for books! Every purchase you make from Ruby’s Reading Corner helps support the ongoing ministry here at Ruby for Women. The next time you are planning to purchase a book for yourself, for a friend, or for a family member, please consider shopping at Ruby’s Reading Corner. http://astore.amazon.com/rubyforwomenreadingcorner-20

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i|Çàtzx \Åtzx VÜtyà VÜxtà|äx V{tÄÄxÇzx YxuÜâtÜç? ECDE VÜxtàx t itÄxÇà|Çx bÜÇtÅxÇà Romance! Flirtation! Unrequited love! Requited love! Hang around for our Creative Challenge, February 2012 Valentine Ornaments! Submit your craft photo, and if your Valentine Ornament craft is selected, you will win a new copy of "Paper Cuts," the beautiful book by acclaimed paper artisan, Taylor Hagerty. You begin with a vintage image of a Victorian Valentine. Download FREE images from VIC's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/vintageimagecraft. Or you can purchase ready-toprint Image Books from our VIC Store at www.vintageimagecraft.com Cut up those images and craft a hanging ornament that expresses the glory of love. Through February 8, you can submit your Valentine Ornament craft photo to VintageImageCraft -- and you are in the contest!! The top three winners will share adulation, international acclaim, and PRIZES!

fâuÅ|áá|ÉÇáM * Your ornament can be suitable for a Valentine tree, a wall, a ceiling fixture, a doorway, or a door - anywhere you can hang something. * Use a VIC vintage image, FREE on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/vintageimagecraft or purchased from Vintage Image Craft at www.vintgeimagecraft.com for your Valentine ornament. * Incorporate any techniques, including collage, assemblage, altered art, stamping and/or distressing. Submit your entry by February 8, 2012 by sending the following to: http://www.vintageimagecraft.com/creative-challenge-february-2012.html •

photos or scans of your artwork (up to four)

a full description of the techniques, materials and products you used

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Judging: Entries will be judged on creative use of vintage images, design, color, materials and textures, embellishment, techniques, and pure whimsy. The judges are Scott Henderson and Martin Bray.

Prizes: First Prize is a copy of Taylor Hagerty's beautiful book, Paper Cuts, 35 Inventive Projects from Lark Books. This book takes paper crafting to a "cut above." The folk-art tradition of paper cutting has become the new darling of the fashion and design worlds. Taylor Hagerty builds on the trend, drawing on a variety of cultures—from Mexican to German to Chinese—and brings together today's top artists. The result is a collection of 35 smart, fresh, and contemporary projects, including party ware, centerpieces, and more. The book is a $17.95 value (donated by Lark Books!). And a prize beyond value: The winning craft and artist will be displayed on the Vintage Image Craft Home Page! Second Prize is ONE download of a VintageImageCraft Card Book of your choice, an $8.99 value. Third Prize is ONE download of a VintageImageCraft Image Book of your choice, a $4.99 value.

Winners will be announced by February 11, 2012

VintageImageCraft invites you to submit your "Valentine Ornament" by February 8, 2012! http://www.vintageimagecraft.com/creative-challenge-february-2012.html

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A Few Tweets from a Snow Bird by Aunt Dots A snow bird, that’s what we folks who move to the warm South from the cold North are called. Florida, as well as other warm states, is overflowing with us at this time. I’m in Florida now planting impatiens! Those are tender summer flowers, you know. It feels so good to dig in the soft, warm sand. Have to look out for the fire ants though. I like the little scrub lizards that live here. Sometimes they try to get into the house before me so you have to be on the lookout for them. My husband and I have a house trailer with a screened in porch. It’s so nice to sit on the porch and look at the pink impatiens. I have to get a few more plants this week. We’re only here for three and one half months, but a house isn’t home to me unless it has lots of flowers. Our neighbor a few houses away was awarded the yard of the month. As you can see, they have divided the garden into areas with curbing and colored stones. A laurel oak is in the center and there are two towers made of landscape blocks, which are planted with wave petunias. Rows of Indian Hawthorne shrubs run across the front of the house and down the driveway. Other plants include sunpatiens, pygmy palms, sago palms, variegated liriope, red sister cordyline and jasmine. With white stones on a dark background they have made a cross which has solar lights which are on at night. There are many solar lights which light up the whole garden at night. Our neighbors from the North come to Florida in the fall and have planted quite a garden out of which they are already harvesting. Suzanne has a honeysuckle, called Florida flame vine down here, growing over the shed. It was hurt by the frost last year so she pruned it and this year it’s blooming as never before. The South is famous for what is called Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides. It is an angiosperm from the family of bromeliads. It gets its nutrients from the host plant and its water from the air. It needs a warm and humid environment. It is not a parasite on the host plant, but it does shade the leaves and thus causes some damage.

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This live oak in the park has a lot of moss on it. It will grow on almost anything. There is an Indian lore that when the Spanish began moving into the South that a young Spanish couple was walking through the woods and were accosted by the Cherokee Indians. To warn the Spanish to stay away, they cut the long black hair from the young woman and threw it into a live oak. The hair later turned gray and began growing in the trees. I thought of putting some moss on my head and having my picture taken, but I was told that little spiders live in the moss. Yuck! I’m glad I learned that before I did such a silly thing. So here I am a snow bird. Up North there are snow birds that are usually in a flock. They’re white. I won’t see any this winter. I really don’t mind winter in the North because the snow is pretty and you don’t have to get out in it if you don’t want to. It’s a good time to make quilts, too. See you later,

Aunt Dots

How About a Little International Flavor for your Valentine’s Day Celebration? Italian Tiramisu from the Kitchen of Vintage Mama Italian Tiramisu is a beautiful dessert to create for your special someone, and this recipe makes it quick and easy. The first time I tasted Tiramisu was many years ago on a study tour of Greece and Turkey. Since that time, I’ve seen it in almost every nice restaurant, and I’m sure that is because it is so delicious! What you need: * 3 egg yolks * ¼ cup sugar * 2 tsp vanilla extract * 1 1/8 c Mascarpone cheese * 24 ladyfingers * 1 ½ cup brewed coffee * 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Let’s make it! In a medium bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar and vanilla until smooth and light yellow. Fold Mascarpone cheese into yolk mixture. Set aside. Dip ladyfingers briefly in coffee and arrange 12 of them in the bottom of an 8” X 8” dish. Spread half the Mascarpone cheese and egg yolk mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat with remaining cookies and Mascarpone cheese mixture. Cover and chill 1 hour. Sprinkle with cocoa powder just before serving. 17


Clothe Yourself Therefore . . . by Keith Wallis It surprises me that I have many suits. I daily dress: for warmth to suit the day, for decorum to suit society, to give an impression – to suit the occasion, for expediency to suit the wife, for comfort to suit myself. They may, or may not, be right – the weather may have fooled me. My self image may disguise my size, they may not be right for the occasion, they may not actually suit me. But I have the choice. I choose. There is another choice: to daily dress to suit another criteria and put on the overcoat of love.

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February Number Block Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key on page 78

The Heel by Sarah Johnson Have you ever felt like a heel of bread? You know, the piece everyone in the family passes over to get to the softer “yummier” full slices of bread? At the end of a long day, after all the dishes have been done, baths have been given, and the millionth bedtime story has been read, it’s easy to feel used, abused, and abandoned. However, one day I had a realization. Your heel is one of the strongest parts of your foot, and the most resilient part of your hand! Your heels (both of them) take the brunt of your weight, can help you keep your balance, or break a nose if need be! Even the heel of the bread is the start and finish of the sandwich-goodness! The next time you’re feeling exhausted and cast-off, remember: You were made in His image, and He does not make junk. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:28-31). 19


How to Turn Your Life Verse into a Spiritual Vision Board by Theresa Ceniccola The Christian Mompreneur Have you ever been asked what your “life verse” is? You know, the scripture quote that seems to speak to you directly – the one that holds a personal meaning for you. When I first heard of this concept, I was immediately overwhelmed. With more than 31,000 verses to choose from, how could I possibly select just one? How could one verse define my entire life? Even if it seemed to fit now, would it still encourage and strengthen me in 10 years? That reaction is my typical perfectionist response to any sort of challenge or assignment. I had to remind myself that THIS IS NOT A TEST! That God wasn’t waiting for me to choose the “wrong” verse and then condemn me for failing a quiz. And that there was no rule preventing me from picking a new verse any time I needed one! (After all, there’s a reason there are more than 788,000 words in the Bible – we need to read them at different times in our lives.) With those comforting thoughts in mind, I set off to find my life verse.

Selecting Your Life Verse The mission took me several months. I tried a few verses on for size in my mind. I read them aloud to listen to the message behind the words. Wondered how they would serve me as a compass. I couldn’t make a decision. It still felt like such a commitment! Then one Saturday morning, I was at a women’s retreat exploring the relationship between creativity and spirituality. We were making Spiritual Vision Boards and we were told to begin with our life verse in mind. Naturally, I considered and debated long after everyone else in the room started working on their boards. I eventually settled on a verse – it was more of a random selection based on the pressure to make a decision quickly before the others noticed that I didn’t have a life verse (how shameful!). The verse I selected spoke to me in the moment and has become a guiding force in my life ever since: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6 20


The weight had been lifted from my shoulders! I had a life verse and I was ready to create a Spiritual Vision Board to honor that verse and give it a prominent place to live in my home. This was the fun part! The activity gave me an opportunity to engage my right brain and exercise my creativity muscles, which I believe leads to infinite positive change. In fact, my mentor and friend, Whitney Ferre, taught me The Art of Being a Stress-Free Mom through regular creativity exercises!

How to Create a Spiritual Vision Board (or Spiritual Art Journal) Step 1: Select a scripture quote. Any Bible verse that seems to be calling your name. Don’t over think this part. You can make it easy and choose my verse if you want! Step 2: Gather your supplies: a poster board or art journal; paint, markers or colored pencils; magazines, stickers or colorful paper; glue stick, rubber cement or craft paste; any images or phrases that inspire you. Some great resources are greeting cards, Christian magazines such as P31 Woman and materials from Bible studies you’ve attended. Step 3: Set the tone. Play some inspirational Christian music. Light a candle or use your favorite essential oil for aromatherapy. Be sure you have an hour of time where you will be uninterrupted so you can fully immerse yourself in the creative process and use the time to reflect on God’s message. Step 4: Create! Start wherever you feel most comfortable – you may want to paint or sketch an image on your poster board or journal paper. Or you may prefer to flip through the magazines and tear out images and words that resonate with you and arrange them on the board. Just cover your paper, overlapping images and adding decorative items like ribbon or stickers. Be sure to add your life verse somewhere on the board! Step 5: Reflect. Find a place to hang your Spiritual Vision Board where you will see it daily. Take 10 minutes a day to reflect on the images and say a prayer. My Spiritual Vision Board serves as a daily reminder of my life verse. It invites me to devote my attention to the verse every day and it conjures up memories of the nourishing and rejuvenating retreat I attended. For a more detailed instructions, check out The Complete Guide to Vision Boards by my coach and mentor, Christine Kane. Do you have a life verse? Share it with me here (no pressure!).

www.theresaceniccola.com 21


To order “The Recipe Box� by Morgan Von Gunten, visit her website at iWoman Magazine http://iwomanmag.com/recipes

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Loves’ Open Door by Elizabeth Baker (c. 1000-BC ): The Book of Ruth Like a flower pushing its way through a crack in the sidewalk, Ruth’s story of love and redemption forges its gentle way between the troubled years after Joshua died and the eventual rule of David (about four-hundred years). Into this moral desert where survival of the fittest ruled, her story breathes assurance that God does not forget those seeking Him and His plans still move forward in spite of cultural and political failure. Ruth was born and raised in Moab on the fertile plains east of the Dead Sea. The only god she knew was Chemosh, an idol who sometimes favored Ruth’s people and sometimes did not. A god who had to be continually appeased and cajoled—even if it took human sacrifice [1] before one could get his attention. Ruth probably had no education and at a young age would have been sold in marriage according to the will of her father. To Ruth, these were not strange ways. It was how her mother, grandmother and all other women lived. But when her father married her to a foreigner, she was introduced to new ideas and a new God. Indeed, a whole new world opened before her. When famine settled on Bethlehem, Elimelech took his wife and two sickly sons to Moab to wait out the bad times. He was evidently well off for he had the bride price for his sons and means to live for several years, but trouble followed him to Moab. Before ten years passed, the money was gone, Elimelech was dead, both sons were dead, and three widows were left to deal with life as best they could. When the reins of leadership fell to Naomi, she gathered her two daughter-in-laws, Ruth and Orpah, and told them she was returning to Bethlehem. She loved these two girls, but had nothing to give them so she encouraged them to go back to their fathers who could provide for them until other husbands could be found. Reluctantly, Orpah agreed but Ruth clung to her mother-in-law, choking out some of the most famous words in literature. “Entreat me not to leave you. / Or to turn back from following after you; / For wherever you go, I will go; / And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; / Your people shall be my people. / And your God, My God.” 23


We often limit Ruth’s love story to her romance with Boaz but it’s here that the story of Ruth’s love begins. While still in Moab, she had found something in this new family that was different, clean and hopeful. Something so powerful she was willing to leave her family and all she had previously known to embrace a new people and a new God. The value she placed on getting to know the God of the Hebrews cannot be over stated for His name is mentioned nineteen times although the entire book of Ruth is only four chapters long. When Ruth and Naomi arrived in Bethlehem, things had changed considerably. The drought was over but land that once meant security and home had either been rented or sold to others before Elimelech left. Now, there was no house, or fields, or money or jobs and the two women were at the point of desperation. At that time, one could draw a twenty-mile circle at any point in Israel and likely encompass independent city governments, family dynasties ruling rural areas, and a few “kings” from foreign nations along with a couple bands of roving thieves. Within this mix, some pockets of Jews were well off, others were poor. Some clung tenaciously to the God of their fathers. Others drifted away. But, Ruth and Naomi were fortunate. Bethlehem was a city that continued to follow Jehovah, and because the laws given to Moses were honored, no poor need go to bed hungry. It was a dangerous world but farmers still left the corners of their fields and the fragments of harvested crops for the poor. [2] Anyone—including a widow from Moab—could go into any field and get food. In the small town news travels fast. When Boaz inspected his fields and found Ruth picking up fragments behind his harvesters he knew her. This Moabite widow had chosen his people and his God then demonstrated faithfulness caring for a mother-in-law to whom she technically had no obligation. Calling her aside, he blessed her and encouraged her to believe that she would be rewarded by “the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.” It was probably a fatherly statement for he was evidently a good bit older than she. But as the harvest season passed, those feelings changed. Naomi was the first to suspect Boaz’s kind treatment of Ruth might be more than fatherly. She told her of the law of kinsman-redeemer, and one night following Naomi’s advice, Ruth boldly asked Boaz to shelter her. Delighted with her character and beauty, Boaz bought back the land once belonging to Elimelech and married Ruth. The laughter of children soon blessed the home and Ruth, the poverty stricken stranger who sought a new God, became the great-grandmother of King David. [2] [1] II Kings 3:27 [2] Matthew 1-5 [3] Leviticus 19:9 24


Dealing with Life Problems Abba, Father; A Simple Prayer by John Poche “It’s not a matter of if we will experience problems, it’s when.” For most of us, life problems are inevitable. How do we deal with problems related to relationships, marriage, divorce, family employment, work, finances, addiction, health or the death of a loved one? John shares his personal story of how a short prayer and simple praying helped resolve some stressful problems and change his life into happy, joyous and free. He describes the development of his simple prayer plan and numerous experiences of his twenty year prayer journey. He offers many suggestions in hope that his biblically-inspired simple prayer will help you experience the joy of knowing that God is present and working in your life. It worked for him; maybe it will work for you! http://www.amazon.com/Abba-Father-Simple-PrayerPoche/dp/145074933X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1321980994&sr=8-1

You are Invited to Join

Katherine’s Corner Book Club At Katherine’s Corner you connect with other book lovers and share a new story every month! Every month Katie will post a new book list and you get to vote for your favorite. Then, together we will read the selected book and discuss it via the Book Club page at Katherine’s Corner blog. Once a month a new book will be chosen and you can leave comments on the Book Club page throughout the month. A new book vote will be posted on the 15th of every month. The Book Club at Katherine’s Corner is a “no obligation” book club! Just read the book with the other members of the club and share your thoughts with one another. Settle in, read along, and leave comments on the book whenever the mood strikes you. Once a month is all the commitment needed. The fun part is that you can make comments throughout the month so you don’t have to keep your thoughts on the book silent until a specific meeting date. If you would like to join the Book Club at Katherine’s Corner, simply visit Katie at www.katherinescorner.com and sign up! Then, if you wan to help promote the book club, you can grab the button code to paste into your blog sidebar. You can find the code and all of the details at Katherine’s Corner. 25


Footprints in the Mud “Who’s Obedient?” by Beth Brubaker It all started when I was driving my daughter to school one rainy morning. The car in front of me was adorned with a bumper sticker that read: “Obedient Women Are Never Remembered In History.” And all I could think of was, “Oh, Really?” This sticker really got under my skin because the tone was that of 'Obedience equals Doormat'. And that made me mad. It also made me think, what women were obedient but also remembered? Mary. She obeyed God and gave birth to Jesus, despite the fact that she was betrothed to Joseph. Was she remembered? Take a look at any catholic church, and you'll see her face all over the place. Hardly forgotten. Sarah was willing to give up a life of luxury to move about like a nomad because God told her husband to do so and she obeyed her husband.

Ruth was obedient to Naomi and stayed by her side for the rest of her life. How many people do you know do that? And she became the greatgrandmother of King David! Esther obeyed her uncle by God's Will and became the Queen of Persia, only to save the Jewish people living in exile. She risked death to speak with the king about his Second, Haman, who wanted the entire race eliminated. She didn't want to be queen or seek out the king to tell him the bad news, but she obeyed God and saved a nation. Even people who don't read the Bible have heard of at least one of these women. A few of them even have their own books in the Bible. Obedient women not remembered? It sounds like a lot of obedient women were remembered in history to me! I have no idea what history books this bumper-stickered person read, but she clearly didn't read the right ones!

For Valentine’s Day or Any Day . . .

Send Out Cards with

Danie Bell http://www.socreview.com/daniebell

What is Love?

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j{tà WÉxá _Éäx `xtÇ àÉ lÉâR uç _çÇÇ `Éá{xÜ Okay, so February is considered the Love Month because of Valentine’s Day. With all that has been written about love, is there anything new to say about it? Well, I had a thought. Since I am on Twitter, I decided to get a little feedback from my Twitter friends and asked them this question… What is the essence or meaning of love to you? I received some awesome answers. Because Twitter limits responses to 140 characters, these are short responses… * “Love: emotion that sends adrenaline soaring and brings tears of joy with tenderness when it is returned unconditionally.” * “‘God will look to every soul like its first love because He IS its first love.’ C. S. Lewis.” * “Love is the meaning of life. Without it, we are naught but a bunch of self-centered egos trying to kill each other.” * “I always go back to 1 Corinthians 13:4, Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous...can’t improve on that one!” * “Love is being willing to do EVERYTHING biologically necessary while your partner has two broken arms. Been there. Done that.” * “Love is my husband’s willingness to make dinner, chauffeur the kids, clean house, massage my neck, and be my rock while I write.” * “My husband Steve demonstrates love’s essence. Like Jesus, he celebrates the good in me, forgives my bad, & shelters me in His strong arms.” * “To love and be loved in return is the greatest gift God has given. He loves unconditionally and asks us to do the same. Seems this is a challenge for man. We tend to love but want to change others. Been guilty of this myself.” * “In Ps. 107 God speaks of his “Unfailing Love” 6 times. Even as we are wandering, imprisoned, afflicted, and in the storms of life, His Unfailing love is always there.” 27


Out of the responses I received, the #1 answer was contained in one word…sacrifice! * “Love is sacrifice.” * “Love. . .sacrifice, unselfishness (as if this were humanly possible), God. God is love. Sounds like a Bible verse!” * “The essence of love to me is one word, sacrifice. If we’re not willing to give something up for another, it’s not love.” * “I thought about your question yesterday and the word that keeps coming to mind is sacrificial. John 15:13 - No greater love than that…I’m learning love is to be willing to lay myself aside but it can only come through the power of Jesus. His love being poured out through me.” Laying Himself aside, Christ poured out His physical life for the redemption of the world. As the Bridegroom, Jesus selflessly surrendered His life on earth for His bride, the church, whom He “loved…and gave Himself for her.” (Eph. 5:25b NKJV) When we receive this sacrificial love into our lives, do we then willingly pour it out to others? Or are we too selfish and set in our own ways? Peter tells us, “Now you can have real love for everyone because your souls have been cleansed from selfishness and hatred when you trusted Christ to save you; so see to it that you really do love each other warmly, with all your hearts.” (1 Peter 1:22 TLB) Do we love others unselfishly as Jesus does, whether our spouses, families, friends, or others? Do we forget ourselves in order to help another? Do we endure being uncomfortable in order to make someone else comfortable? Do we forgo acquiring something in order to give to another? Remember, “Whoever lives in love lives in God.” (1 John 4:16b NIV) I wish you an infilling of love in Jesus’ name…

YÜÉÅ Åç {xtÜà Éy ÄÉäx àÉ çÉâÜá A A A

_çÇÇ Please visit Lynn at her blog, Heading Home, to read more of her inspirational posts http://lynnmosher.blogspot.com/ 28


Vintage Paper Dolls from the collection of Vintage Mama February, 1959 29


The Story of St. Valentine

Retold by Vintage Mama Cover illustration by Rebecca Evans 30


As the humble priest wandered wearily through the dingy, dreary streets of Rome, his heart cried out to God. “Oh, Heavenly Father, please guide me through this darkness in my soul!” The sound of his footsteps echoed in the chilly, rainy night in the ancient city where the Church ruled the lives of the citizens. “What am I to do, my Father? The Emperor has forbidden all of the young men of the Empire to marry for fear that they will no longer be courageous warriors. And yet, I see the despair on their faces and I feel the pain in their broken hearts when they come to me and ask me to marry them.” Valentine, the local priest in this downtrodden corner of the glorious city of Rome, was torn between his desire to bless his parishioners and the decree of Emperor Claudius. Although Valentine understood the requirement that the followers of Christ should be good Roman citizens, he also knew in his heart that it is better to obey God rather than men. What should he do? Valentine fell to his knees on the frigid dirt floor of his cell in the heart of the monastery, pleading with God to give him wisdom. All that long dark, cold night the humble priest sought God’s guidance, knowing that if he should choose to disobey the cruel commands of the Emperor, that he would be putting his very life into jeopardy. And yet, he also knew deep in his heart, that he could never disobey God. Valentine knew that marriage was honorable and pleasing to God, and that the people would turn to him for guidance in this matter. How to honor God and minister to his parishioners without putting his life in danger? As the humble priest bowed before his Heavenly Father, there in the darkness and cold of a bitter winter night in the city of Rome, Valentine’s heart grew in confidence, strength, and courage. His continued prayers to his loving and gracious God became bold in his determination to hold on, as Jacob had when he wrestled with God at Peniel, and he cried out, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And in that place, the priest Valentine was determined to know God’s mind concerning his ministry to his people or his obedience to Emperor Claudius. In that moment of expectation, God gave Valentine a glimpse of His grace and mercy, and Valentine knew what he must do. Valentine, the tenderhearted priest in the ancient city of Rome, went forth from that place of prayer, determined to give God’s blessing to those young lovers who came to him to be married. In the brightness of the morning, Valentine sought out the young lovers he had turned away just the day before, and he told them, “You must wed in secret to protect yourselves from the certain punishment of the Emperor’s soldiers, but God has shown me that He has blessed your union.” And so God gave Valentine the courage to bless young lovers throughout the ancient city, in spite of the possible danger to himself. Valentine had discovered the gift of a life wholly devoted to God. Obedience in the face of opposition, and trust in the midst of the very darkness of evil.

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Not many weeks had passed when Valentine was apprehended one night while he was again on his knees in the presence of his Heavenly Father. “Get up, filthy priest!” the soldiers cursed, gripping Valentine’s arms as he prayed. “You are under arrest, by decree of Emperor Claudius, for your deception and dishonoring the law of Rome!” The soldiers dragged Valentine through the dilapidated streets of the city, past the hovels of his parishioners. Silently he stumbled along, trying to keep from falling into the black and filthy mud that filled the streets. Hiding in the shadows were many of his parishioners, including those young lovers that he had married in defiance of the heavy hand of the Roman laws. Who had betrayed him? How could God have allowed this to happen? After all, he was only living in obedience to the words of his Heavenly Father. Did he not do what he knew God was guiding him to do? Valentine was broken hearted, for he knew that there was no one else who would help his frightened parishioners. Again he silently cried out to God, in his brokenness and desperation. “Father, please protect them from the wrath of this evil Emperor!” Valentine pleaded again, calling on the mercy and grace of God. “Give me just one opportunity to reveal the power of Your love to the world!” Then his voice was muted by the clanging of the chains and the shudder of the prison door slamming shut. The darkness closed in around him as he fell to his knees on the icy stones of the cell. As the wintry morning sun climbed over the horizon of the following frozen morning, Valentine awoke to the clinking sound of keys at the heavy door of his prison cell. Stiff from shivering in the damp corner all night, Valentine moved slowly to rise in anticipation of a meager morning meal.

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When the ancient wooden door creaked open, Valentine was quite astonished to see a young woman shuffle into the dim and shadowed cell carrying a sputtering candle in one hand and a bowl of thin soup in the other. “Hello,” she said, more cheerfully than Valentine could have imagined, under the circumstances. “Hello,” he responded quietly, more in surprise than fear at his imprisonment. She held out the chipped and cracked bowl of soup in his direction, never making eye contact with him. She stared blindly in his general direction, with a sweet and gentle smile on her lovely face. He reached out to take the bowl from her hand, grateful for the small warmth that it provided to his frozen fingers. “I will bring you a warm blanket today, if I am allowed,” she said, still staring beyond him to the dank stones of the walls. “My dear girl, that would be so kind, but please do not put yourself in danger,” he replied between greedy gulps of the warm but tasteless soup. “I know that you are here only because of your own kindness,” she said, her face glowing with compassion. “And I believe that God has given me this opportunity to care for you in your imprisonment.” Valentine looked at her in bewilderment and amazement! How did she know all of this? “May I ask your name then, as you have been sent from God as an angel of kindness?” he asked her. He stood silently waiting to hear her reply, and soon she whispered, “I am named Livia,” she replied sweetly, “for it means “crown” and my father believes me to be his crowning glory.” “And who is your father, may I ask?” Valentine inquired, his curiosity growing. “My father is the jailer here in this prison, and he allows me to assist him at times of great need,” she said with a twinkle in her unseeing eyes. “I have been bringing broth and blankets to the prisoners here since I was a small girl, as I cannot work elsewhere, because I am blind, you see,” she touched her face gently as if to emphasize the darkness of her eyes. “I am honored to meet you, Livia,” said Valentine, “and I am so grateful for your generosity to the prisoners.” “I know that you have been helping the young people among your parishioners,” she said, “and I know that you have married many young lovers in defiance of the Emperor.” As she spoke, Livia turned back towards the door. As she did so, Valentine said anxiously, “Please tell me that you will to visit me again!” Livia turned, and her eyes seemed to lock onto his intense gaze. Although her eyes were unseeing, it was as if her heart could sense his desperate need for her kindness. “Of course I will return,” she said sweetly, and then silently disappeared through the dark and heavy door. Behind her, he heard the thud of the closing door and the clink of the keys as she 33


walked up the stone steps of the prison. The hours passed slowly for Valentine in the damp and brooding darkness of the cell. In those moments of loneliness and silence, Valentine began to understand God’s gift to him in this place. Although he feared he would never again be able to minister to his parishioners and bring comfort to them as they struggled to survive under brutal laws of Emperor Claudius, he knew that through his newfound friendship with Livia, God would somehow use him to bring the message of His love to searching hearts. Valentine eagerly anticipated Livia’s return with the evening bowl of the watery but warm soup, and he so longed to speak with her again. And if she could really bring him a blanket to cover himself with in the frigid night air, truly he knew that God was watching over him even here in this lonely prison cell. Livia returned later that evening, bringing Valentine not only a bowl of soup, but a crust of bread, and the promised blanket. Although it was worn and tattered, he received her gift as if she had offered him a bag of gold coins. Valentine and Livia chatted frequently after that, as she would quietly bring him small gifts of generosity, including the gift of a pen and paper upon which he could write words of encouragement to his parishioners. As their friendship grew, so did his love for Livia, and yet he knew that he could never commit his life to her, even if he were ever released from his prison cell. Valentine did not speak of his love for Livia, and yet he could feel in his heart that she cared for him, too. Day after day, she would visit him in his cell and bring him the small treasures that she could scrounge together and hide deep within the folds of her cloak. Over the weeks and months of his imprisonment, and his growing love for Livia, God was working in the hearts of these two gentle people. Then one evening, just as the sun was dipping behind the edge of the barred window in the stone wall of his cell, Valentine heard Livia come quickly down the broken stone steps and rush to his door. The keys jingled merrily as she unlocked the door and flew into the cell. “Valentine, Valentine!” she exclaimed excitedly, “this morning I suddenly discovered that I can see sunlight dimly through the fog of my eyes!” He touched her eyes lightly, and prayed that God would continue to bring sight to her beautiful eyes. At that moment, Livia turned her face up to look at Valentine. As she touched his face gently, she said, “Finally, I see your dear face.” They rejoiced together that God had healed her blindness, and they talked of the day when he might be set free from prison.

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One day soon after this miracle, as Valentine was awaiting his daily visit from Livia, he heard a different sound outside the door of his cell. Heavy boots stomped down the stone steps, and loud, rough voices shouted through the passageway. “Wake up, priest! Get up!” one of the guards snarled as he forced the keys into the lock of the cell door. Valentine stood and waited quietly for an explanation, but the guard offered no reason for this unexpected visit. “Am I being released?” Valentine asked with great anticipation. “Of course not, you fool!” the other guard spat out the words. “This is your day to die!” he growled. Valentine suddenly realized that he would never speak with his sweet Livia again. Outside the door to Valentine’s cell, the guards were arguing about who would lead him to the courtyard. With the harshness of the guard’s words ringing in his ears, Valentine quickly pulled the pen and scrap of paper from their hiding place in a crude hole in the stone wall. As the guards argued, and their voices grew loud and belligerent outside the door, he quickly scribbled a note: “To my sweet Livia, I must tell you that I have been taken away, but you will remain in my heart forever. I love you! From, Your Valentine.” Just as Valentine hurriedly crumpled the note and returned it to the hiding place between the broken stones, the guards swung the wooden door open, slamming it into the wall. With one guard on his left and one on his right, they dragged Valentine up the slippery, muddy steps of the prison to the courtyard of execution. At the top of the stairs, Valentine saw Livia on her way to bring him her daily gift of soup and bread. He made no effort to cry out, but through eyes filled with love, he said everything that was in his heart. As his eyes locked onto her now-seeing eyes, she knew in her heart that Valentine had truly been God’s gift to her. He knew that she would find the note that he had slipped into the hole in the stone wall, and that she would understand that their love was eternal. The day of Valentine’s execution would remain forever in the heart of sweet Livia. It was February 14, in the year of our Lord, 270 A.D.

Cover illustration by Rebecca Evans of Rebecca Evans Illustration http://www.etsy.com/shop/RebeccaEvans 35


Kiss by Keith Wallis

These lips have touched eternity. Not the pressed together venture onto other excited lips the tingled sensation of emotion, nor the caring careful butterflied alightment upon the head of a sleeping child. These lips have touched eternity. These lips have blessed with truth cursed with lie; cried out in anguish whispered in love. These are traitorous lips allegiant to nothing; healing and withering unequal measures from imbalanced keel. These lips have touched eternity with the passment of wine which is not wine the easement of bread which is not bread at a feast which is not a feast. These are not lies but the receipt of excited lips the butterflied gentle touch and cleansing embers that taste of eternity.

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Love from the Prayer Garden

Love One Another by Thomas B. Clarke Do you have a favorite Christian author? I do and it’s Bob Sorge. I’ve read most of his books – my most favorite is The Fire of God’s Love. In that book, Sorge attempts to ignite a fervent love for God, Christ, and one another. At least for me, it served its purpose. Why do I write about The Fire of God’s Love when February is the Valentine month? Shouldn’t the emphasis be on loving those we love: our spouse, children, other family members, friends, etc.? Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about? Sorge states that love is modeled in God’s love of Christ, and then Christ’s love back to his Father. That is perfect love – so perfect that nothing can destroy it – so perfect that everything points to it. What is so exceptional is that all human beings are included in that love from the Father and Christ. That love is extended to you, if you will accept it, and also to your enemy, if they will accept it. Your failure to accept that love, or your enemy’s failure to do the same, does not diminish that love. That perfect love is extended to all. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38,39 ESV). Various forms of malice such as hatred, bitterness, or strife are all aimed at harm. But love transcends all that. If God perfectly loves that individual, and we demonstrate some thought or action that is contrary to that, are we not working against God? Love attracts but malice repulses. Love is contagious – this love does not end with the Father / Son, for it includes us: [Father,] “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:22,23 ESV). Possibly there is a governmental leader, co-worker, neighbor, or relative that, whenever that person’s name is mentioned, floods your mind with a deluge of negative thoughts. For the Christian, the Valentine’s Day message should be a response of universal love, not just our favorites. What right do we have to hate what God perfectly loves? 37


Jesus stated, “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” (Luke 6:27, 28 ESV). Flowers can be an excellent way of expressing this love from your heart, for often the action of giving delicate and appealing blossoms can symbolize this concept where words have so often failed. Tom Clarke is author of A Garden of Love, a gift book about love with an emphasis on flowers to help us experience that love. Tom is also the caretaker of the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY – open to the public. A Garden of Love is available on Amazon as well as at www.agardenoflove.com.

I Heart You! Fun Family Crafts by Sarah Johnson “God is love” 1 John 4:8 Here are some fun craft ideas to do with / for the favorite people in your life for Valentine’s Day! Sweet & Salty Popcorn: Pop your favorite bag of popcorn. Melt a small bag of white chocolate candy melts. Mix together in a large bowl and add M&Ms. Allow mixture to cool on a cookie sheet and then divide into little goodie bags. Tie off with a red ribbon and a little note of love. Perfect little surprise for a school lunch! Appreciation Frame: Write “I love you because…” on a piece of scrapbook paper (or you can cut it down to fit in a printer and type it out). Cut to fit and slide into a 5x7 picture frame. Use a small dry erase marker to tell your loved one why you love them (ex. you always take out the trash, you know just what to do to make me smile, you started my coffee for me.) This is a fantastic idea to use all year long to express your love and appreciation! Simple Valentine for Kids: Cut a heart shape out of a piece of construction paper. Write the message “You can count on me when things get sticky!” and tape a small lollypop to the valentine. Stuck on You: Paint small wooden hearts. You can use a permanent marker to write special messages on each one. After they dry, attach a magnet to the back. Sweet Sachet: Cut a piece of felt or fleece into a rectangle. Fold to form a pocket, leaving enough fabric at the top to create a decorative flap. Use fabric glue (or sewing stitch) to seal the edges. You can use buttons, ribbons, or fabric paint for a little style. Put a little potpourri or cedar chips in the sachet to keep clothes fresh ‘til summer time! I found these ideas and many more on Pintrest.com and Parents.com. Happy Valentine’s Day from my house to yours! I hope you have a wonderful Month of Love and spend some time reflecting on God’s love for us!

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Bible Block Wedding Sampler Sew-Along with Laura Brandt of Wentworth County Quiltworks Block #5: Contrary Wife Pr 19:13 A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping. Pr 19:14 House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the LORD. Pr 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Pr 31:11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Pr 31:12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. A contrary wife is something a Christian woman just shouldn’t be! However, we all have our moments and there isn’t a marriage in the history of mankind that hasn’t faced a degree of contrariness from one spouse or the other. Yes, there is a “Contrary Husband” quilt block as well; that’s a post for another month! The Kansas City Star published quilt block columns from 1928 to 1961. The Contrary Wife block was featured on August 27, 1941 and is also known as the Double Hour Glass. You’ll need three different fabrics for this block. Please note: all seams are ¼”; final block is 12.5” unfinished Step 1 – Cut your fabric. From Fabric 1, cut five 4.5” x 4.5” squares. From Fabric 2, cut two 4 7/8” x 4 7/8” squares and from Fabric 3 cut two 4 7/8” x 4 7/8” squares. Step 2 – Make your half-square triangle units. On the wrong side of your two 4 7/8” Fabric 2 squares, draw a diagonal line corner to corner. Draw a ¼” line on either side of the diagonal centre line.

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Place your marked squares right sides together with your two 4 7/8” Fabric 3 squares and sew along the quarter-inch lines you’ve marked on either side of your diagonal centre line.

Cut squares apart along centre line and press seams; square your four resultant blocks to 4.5”.

Step 3 - lay out your square as follows:

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Step 4 – sew your squares together into rows and press seams:

Step 5 – Being careful with your alignment, sew your rows together to make your block and press seams: There’s your “Contrary Wife” quilt block #5 for the Bible Block Wedding Sampler! Please visit Laura Brandt at Wentworth County Quiltworks for more quilt patterns.

Wentworth County Quiltworks Bible quilt updates and a growing Bible Block-of-the-Month collection

Visit Laura and follow along as she creates her Bible Block-of-the-Month Collection! www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com 41


Let Gossamer Wings Publications transform your writing into a beautiful digital document to post on your blog or website! Are you a writer, poet, author of devotional or inspirational articles, children's author, writer of short stories, or motivational books? We have been creating eBooks and digital publications since 2006, and we are now offering our publishing services to you at Gossamer Wings Publications. Since 2010, we have published Ruby for Women, a monthly online Christian women's magazine which features family-friendly articles on home making, cooking, arts and crafts, poetry, devotionals, inspirational articles and stories, short stories, quilting tutorials, puzzles, kids' crafts, book reviews, gardening and frugal family living articles. In addition, Ruby for Women has published ebooks for poets and writers of short stories and devotionals, as well as ebook tutorials and patterns for sewing and crafts for mamas*little*treasures which are currently sold on numerous websites, including You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com Beginning in 2012, all of our publications will be produced, published, and promoted by Gossamer Wings Publications, and we are now offering our publishing services to you. We will publish your writing, poetry, sewing and craft books, devotional and inspirational articles, short stories, and any other familyfriendly projects that you've been working on. You've been waiting for the opportunity to get YOUR ideas out to the world, but you just haven't known where to start! Now you can have a beautifully formatted eBook created for you at a price you can afford, and we will even help you promote your publication. At Gossamer Wings Publications, we will work with you to design your ebook to reflect your personality and express the words and ideas that God has put in your heart and mind. Email today for your FREE consultation and to set-up your very first publication with Gossamer Wings Publications! gossamerwingspublishing@hotmail.com

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Ask Beth by Beth Brubaker

Dear Beth, How much discipline should I give my six year-old when she does something wrong? Sometimes I think I'm too hard with my kids, and other times I think I'm too soft. Help!

-- Mixed-Up Mom Dear Mixed-Up, Sometimes it's hard to determine just what the right amount of discipline is for our kids. God tells us as parents that we must discipline our children, but not to the point of exasperation. In other words, let the punishment fit the crime. Using this as a guide will help you to decide what's best, especially for those kids in the single digits. For instance: You make a mess, you clean it up. You don't clean it up, I make you clean it (usually by standing in the same room and giving instructions), and add an additional cleaning chore on top of it. If the child still refuses, I tell them to do what I asked or it's time to break out the paddle. My kids had three chances to make good on their bad deeds, and once they understood that, it rarely got to the point of paddling. If the deed is something against another person (adult or child), an apology is in order once tempers cool down (or a letter of apology if they can write). Then the child should do something nice for that person, whether that be getting them something to eat or drink, making a drawing for that person, or some other act of goodwill. This will not only teach them to be forgiving (by acts of kindness), but it will teach them to be more respectful of others. Disciplines like staying in a corner don't work alone. There needs to be action afterward. Having a 'time out' will allow the child to calm down, but if there is no other disciplinary action after the fact, the lesson gets lost. Tell him why he was put there, ask how he intends to not do it again and don't forget to get an apology for the behavior. Then give him a kiss and a hug and drop the matter! Holding bad behavior over a child's head only reinforces the negative feelings, and can lead to bad self-esteem. Stick to the rules. Telling a child she won't have something (like a snack) as a disciplinary action then giving it to her later that day (because she was being so good) is not sticking to your own rules. If you can't stick to them, why should your child? Another good thing to remember is to not mete out discipline that you can't possibly keep, like no meals for a week. We might want to threaten that, but if we don't follow through, your children won't respect your authority. And if you do follow through, you might just have social services knocking on your door! Be careful what you promise! If the bad deed was small, so should the discipline be. The more serious the offense, the more serious the consequences. But you have to determine that for yourself, and stick to it. And don't forget to tell them afterwards that you do this because you love them, and that God loves them too!

~~ Beth 43


Introducing The Angel Chronicles by Amy Lignor

Until Next Time How does a girl choose between the one who steals her heart and the one who owns her soul? Matt and Emily were created for a specific job. Raised and trained as the ultimate angel/warrior team, they are sent down to save, defend, judge and forgive, depending on the 'life' they've been assigned. What they don't realize is that the power of human emotions, such as love, anger, passion and fear can take over even the best of souls, causing them to make mistakes and follow paths that lead to confusion and heartache. When the reason for their training is finally revealed, the angel/warrior team find themselves thrust into a world they know nothing about. Matt takes over the life of Daniel, a young man with a great deal of baggage. Emily becomes Liz, a girl living in a remote village who relies on nothing more than her own strength to survive. A violent storm erupts one night, and framed in the window of Liz's establishment is a frightening face. Let in by the soul of a Good Samaritan, the two visitors bring with them a past full of secrets that could literally change an angel's path and a warrior's plans. From murder to redemption, this angel/warrior team must find a way to keep the faith they have in each other in a world that's ripping them apart. You can purchase your copy of Until Next Time for Kindle from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0071LLL2M/ref%3das_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=tributebo oks-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0071LLL2M

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My Old Bible by Nina Newton I don't remember when this particular Bible became a part of me . . . . of my life, of my journey, of my joys and sorrows, but I know that it is now a symbol not only of my life and my love, but a symbol of where I've been and what I have experienced. I've had this Bible a very long time. I actually do not remember when or where I got it. Perhaps it was just one of those things that we buy at a moment in time when we need a new one for a Bible study class at church, or perhaps it was when I returned to college when all of my older children were in school. I just know that it has been around for a long time! The pages of this Bible are inscribed with dates, cross-references, and quotes that seemed to be significant at some time in the distant past, as well as some that have been written in more recently. I have tried a couple of times to replace this old friend, but every time I gravitate back to this trusty road map for my life. Perhaps it is the memories, both happy and sad, that keep me attached. It helps me stay connected to the people, places, and events that for one reason or another are no longer part of my everyday life. I miss them, and this old Bible has a way of whispering the truth to me . . . . that I am not home yet, and I need to be patient. All will work out according to His plan, and when I forget that on occasion, I can always return to Romans 8:28 to be reminded that He is not finished with me yet, just as I somehow cannot put aside my old Bible. I remember early summer mornings long ago when we lived in Our Town, just a couple of blocks from Main Street, and not too far from the lake shore. The mornings there were quiet (before all of the children woke up and ran outside to ride their bikes on the sidewalks or gather in groups to walk to the beach), and I would sit out on our front porch, sometimes in the pre-dawn darkness, and read this Old Bible. There I would be, all alone in the stillness, where I could pray and write in my journal all that was in my heart. It was there I realized that nothing, NOTHING, can remove me from God's love, even in the midst of great turmoil and sadness. But I still forget, from time to time, sometimes more often than others, and so I return to this comfortable, familiar old friend, where the Words of my God reach out to me and tell me, again and again, "You are loved, you are forgiven, you are treasured, you are cherished." Some days we just need to be reminded of the truth, because we live in a world where we are reminded of our failures and our mistakes all too often. I hope you have a friend like that . . . . and if you don't, how about giving it a try? I didn't set out to make this my lifetime treasure, but it has turned into just that. You might hear God's voice, too, in His Words of comfort, hope, encouragement, and grace. 45


Introducing Rob Hammes, Songwriter “Our praise in song, to the Righteous and Just One” FAITH HAS A VOICE Faith is imparted to me When I hear You speak Your presence closes in Fear disperses through the wind Your love has captured me There’s no place I’d rather be Your peace has covered me Now I can truly sing Chorus Faith has a voice Let us speak faith Faith has a voice Let us hear faith Faith has a voice We declare faith Faith has a voice Declare victory We are victorious We are victorious I speak with authority Knowing you are with me And when I speak it loud I hear doubt crashing down Your blood is over me You have set me free Your peace has covered me Now I can truly sing

Lyrics by: Benjamin Mosier Music written and recorded by: Rob Hammes Vocals: Rob Hammes and Kathy Mosier Copyright: Has Breath Publishing LLC (2011)

Chorus Faith has a voice Let us speak faith Faith has a voice Let us hear faith Faith has a voice Let us speak faith Faith has a voice Let us hear faith Faith has a voice We declare faith Faith has a voice Declare victory

http://robhammessongwriter.com/ http://hasbreathpublishingllc.com/ To purchase this song please visit this website http://www.reverbnation.com/robhammes

We are victorious We are victorious We are victorious From the newly released CD, “Faith Has a Voice” 46


A Kitten’s Tale Mitten WallWall-Hanging Craft Project from mamas*little*treasures Do you remember the nursery rhyme, "The Three Little Kittens"? Remember how they cried when their Mama scolded them and in exasperation she declared, "What! Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens!" Well, they eventually found their mittens, and now you can create this sweet wall hanging craft for a nursery, a child's room, or any other place in your house where you would like to bring in a little sunshine on a blustery winter day. Inspired by my beautiful granddaughters, Mara and Daena, we worked together to come up with this fun craft. Now I am known as the "Glitter Grandma," so I guess I have a reputation to uphold! Seems to me that anything can be made beautiful with a little glitter sprinkled on, kind of like Fairy Dust . . . . but of course, you could make "A Kitten's Tale" without glitter, too. These mittens would look really charming made with fabric scraps, such as bits and pieces cut from old wool sweaters. Whatever you decide to do with your mitten wall hanging, I know you'll have great fun making it! It's super simple, inexpensive, yet pretty enough to hang in your window and let the sunshine dance among the sparkly mittens. If you're thinking it would be fun to do a craft on a winter day, grab your supplies and let's make "A Kitten's Tale" mitten wall hanging. What you need: * 1 large sheet of poster board * 2 sheets (8 1/2" X 11") card stock (for snowflakes and backing) * Craft / acrylic paints in various shades * Craft paint brushes in various sizes * Glitter ;o) 47


* Ribbon (approx. 2 yards: 1 yd for the actual clothesline and an additional yard for ribbon ties) (other embellishments such as lace, beads, or buttons could also be added) * Scissors * Craft glue * Optional: fabric scraps to glue onto each mitten instead of paint Let's make it! Step #1: Using the mitten template (below), cut mitten shapes from poster board. I used four pair of mittens for my project, but you might only want to use two or three pair, it is completely up to you! Step #2: Paint each pair of mittens a different color. We used the following colors: Ice blue, Rose, Lavender, and Aquamarine. All of our paint was metallic-based so that they all have kind of a shimmery effect, but any color combination you like and any type of paint you prefer will work. * After the paint on the front side of each mitten is dry, turn them all over and paint the backs. This is not necessary but it will make your mittens look prettier if one happens to get turned over! * This is also a good time to paint a scrap of paper light blue (approx. 6" X 10") for the background for the snowflakes; if you want sparkly snowflakes, paint a piece of card stock with white paint and sprinkle clear or silver glitter on while the paint is still wet. Step #3: When the paint on all of your mittens is dry, front and back, it is time to embellish them. On one of our projects we glued a bit of lace and ribbon at the wrist of each mitten; we also tried adding a button to each cuff, as well as added "bling" with rhinestone, gold, and silver-tone braid. In the end, we decided on the one with painted on designs such as polka-dots, plaids, stripes, and chevrons which were them embellished with glitter. Step #4: If you choose to cover your mittens with fabric scraps, you would simply cut your fabric scraps from the mitten template (below) and glue the fabric mitten shape to the front and back of each of your mittens cut from the poster board. Step #5: Once you have all of your mittens decorated / embellished the way you want them, it is time to "hang them out to dry" on a ribbon clothes line. If you can find some of the tiny plastic clothes pins (available sometimes in craft stores), it is cute to "hang" the mittens from the ribbon using the clippy clothes pins. 48


Since I couldn't find any clothespins, we tried tying them onto the "clothesline" using scraps of matching / coordinating ribbon. This worked quite well, because we were able to tie little bows at the top of each mitten hanging on our clothesline. * If using ribbon to tie your mittens on to the clothes line, simply punch a hole in center of the cuff of each mitten, thread a ribbon scrap (approx. 8" long) through the hole and tie it onto the ribbon clothesline. 8" of ribbon should give you enough to tie a little bow at the top. * Be sure to leave at least 12" at each end, beyond where you have the mittens tied on, for finishing the wall hanging with snowflakes. Step #6: To finish your mitten wall hanging, cut two snowflakes from the white card stock. Glue each snowflake onto the backing that you painted light blue. Place upside down on a sheet of tin foil with a heavy book on top to weight it down while the glue is drying. This is to make sure that the snowflakes and backing will lay flat. * When the glue is completely dry, cut around each snowflake. Poke a hole in the center of each snowflake. * Approximately 8" from each end of the ribbon "clothes line," tie a loop for hanging; thread each end of the ribbon through the hole in the snowflake and tie several knots to hold it securely between the loop for hanging (in the back of the snowflake) and the front of the snowflake. * Snip off the end of the ribbon so that you have a short "tail" hanging from the middle of each snowflake. There you have it! You can hang your "lost mittens" on the wall or a door using the loop on the back of each snowflake, or you could tape it to a window or wherever you have a spot at your house for hanging a few charming mittens. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at angelbabiesboutique@msn.com . I would love to see YOUR mittens hanging on a pretty ribbon "clothes line"!

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Three little kittens they lost their mittens, and they began to cry, "Oh mother dear, we sadly fear that we have lost our mittens." "What! Lost your mittens, you naughty kittens! Then you shall have no pie." "Meeow, meeow, meeow, now we shall have no pie." The three little kittens they found their mittens, And they began to cry, "Oh mother dear, see here, see here For we have found our mittens." "Put on your mittens, you silly kittens And you shall have some pie" "Meeow, meeow, meeow, Now let us have some pie." The three little kittens put on their mittens and soon ate up the pie, "Oh mother dear, we greatly fear That we have soiled our mittens." "What! soiled you mittens, you naughty kittens!" Then they began to cry, "Meeow, meeow, meeow" Then they began to sigh. The three little kittens they washed their mittens and hung them out to dry, "Oh mother dear, do you not hear that we have washed our mittens." "What! Washed your mittens, you are good kittens." But I smell a rat close by, "Meeow, meeow, meeow" we smell a rat close by... "The Three Little Kittens" first appeared in "Only True Mother Goose Melodies" in 1843. 50


Mitten Template for "A Kitten's Tale" Craft Project Print out and cut 3 - 4 pairs of mittens to decorate

Copyright 2012 by Nina Newton aka mamas*little*treasures. All text and images contained herein are owned by and are copyright 2012 mamas*little*treasures. None of the contents of this pattern tutorial may be reproduced or republished. This pattern is for the express and sole use of the customer for personal or home use, and may be used to create craft projects for the customer to sell on his or her own.

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Beautiful Silk Painting from the East by Kausar Iqbal, East World Market Studio Pakistan has a rich heritage of textile designing dating back to centuries- old techniques, where vegetable dyes and manual techniques were employed to enhance the beauty of fabric. To continue this legacy, EWM studio is now recreating these traditional techniques used on silk and other fabrics in their Karachi studio. Silk painting is a unique form of art where design and fine art comes together and then the piece of cloth becomes the canvas for the designer. It is best to select colors and combinations according to the texture of the fabric. The right combination then creates a bright the design and fabric. Designing on silk is a very important part of silk painting. The original motifs are incorporated with the designs consisting of non-figurative stylish animal forms, florals, straight and curved lines and abstracts with heavily textured backgrounds. Care has to be taken to use the finest fabric and highest quality dyes or paints. The most common techniques used in EWM studios are: • • • • • • • • • •

Gutta techniques Salt techniques Strips& circles with thick brush and rock salt Salt solution Granulated sugar Icing sugar Alcohol Wax Batiks Marbling techniques

• • • • • • • • • •

Stenciling Spray painting (cramping, pleating, cross pleating, spray through shapes) Tie dye Thickener as resist mono painting Sun techniques Layers on layers Discharge painting Sponging Sponging and color wash

Gutta techniques: Gutta is a resist used to block the dyes. After painting the silk wash, a thin white or black line forms a clear design or pattern. There are two type of gutta which can be found in commercial or individual packing:

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*Solvent based gutta * Water based gutta If you are going to do a big painting, then it is always better to buy a big gutta bottle and put in gutta applicators. Metallic gutta can be prepared by adding typographic ink to clear gutta mix, and a small amount of color to spirit. Shake well before use on fabric. Metallic gutta looks very attractive but sometimes the small particles within the gutta tend to clog the nibs and often cause frustration. It is better to use a commercially manufactured gold or silver gutta. EWM artisans use a paper cone to apply metallic gutta. As mentioned before, the purpose of gutta lines is to penetrate the fiber of the silk to create a barrier so the dye is prevented from spreading, and the artisan has a control of the design. It is also very important to have the correct consistency of the gutta. If the gutta is too thick, it will sit on the surface of the fabric, and if it is too thin the barrier will not be dye-proof. The thickness of gutta lines depends on the different sizes of the nibs used or the spout of the gutta bottle. Salt technique: This technique is probably the easiest of all, and the most beautiful textures are obtained. Just spread the paint on the silk, fix on a frame and sprinkle the salt onto the damp silk, and a texture forms. Simply wait for the silk to dry. The grains of salt attract the dye and soak the dye from the surrounding area when the color begins to flow in different directions as the salt picks up the dye. This method creates marvelous textures. But the disadvantage of this technique is you cannot create a duplicate piece as a different texture is formed each time this method is used. Different effects are obtained by using different types of silk, as well as different types of salt, such as table salt, rock salt, sea salt or pearl salt. For best results, make the salt very dry by putting it in the oven for few minutes. Fine salt produces feather-like effects; coast salt produces larger forms, and pearl salt grains produce a more even and rounded design. Stripes Stretch silk on a wooden fame, then paint stripes with dye using a thick brush or foam brush and place rock salt along the lines where the two colors meet. This will produce beautiful effects. In my next article on silk painting, you will learn about the various techniques used to create beautiful silk painting designs.

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Introducing

Littluns by Mark Glamack Littluns is a story for all ages, depicting everyone’s journey through life facing choices for the Light or darkness. Beginning with a simple scavenger hunt, the reader is taken on a fast, roller coaster ride into a volatile unknown.

Littluns is a powerful book about faith and trusted friends that gives positive celebration to traditional Judeo-Christian values and the human spirit. It is a story of extreme good and innocence in a world of chaos from the resulting seductive effects of evil. This book clearly defines the differences and becomes the family friendly alternative. As one parent wrote in her review, “Refreshing, from a parent’s point of view, is knowing that “Littluns” is written absent of inappropriate and offensive language, and will not affect the onset and continued interest of the reader. The book stays in balance with humor, terror, innocence, action, morals, truth, sadness, hope, and feelings. The reader will find this novel impossible to predict and full of surprises.”

About Littluns . . .

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Of Light and Life there is The Book of Light Of all that has been or will be corrupted, there is The Book of Darkness One empowers individuals The other has power over them Hidden within the impenetrable snow-covered exterior walls of Powder Mountain, and secret to the rest of the world, is the protected, selfcontained, pure and peaceful valley of Hollow Hills. The crater valley is thousands of feet above the base of the mountain with only one accessible entrance and one exit, keeping outsiders out. The outside world below holds little interest to Littluns. It’s not that they don’t know about such things and what goes on out there; they know very well about the chaos and discord and the importance of remaining removed from such things. However, once every year or two, around the third and sixth full Moons, the Littleton Town Council selects five of its citizens to journey down Powder Mountain into the outside world. It’s a scavenger hunt. The only rules are that anything they bring back must not belong to anyone. An example would be; you aren’t allowed to climb a tree to get an apple, but you can take the apple if it’s fallen onto the ground. No one ever worries about the rules because every Littlun is taught, from a very young age, that stealing is wrong and no Littlun would ever consider such an act - it just wouldn’t be Littlun. Now, it should be noted that this is not just any outing. It is very dangerous and requires much skill and knowledge. The journey down the mountain is treacherous. More importantly, there can be no contact with the outside world making a costume necessary. To do otherwise, could put their very existence in jeopardy. No one looks forward to being selected, but each accepts the responsibility in the knowledge that they are fulfilling a community obligation and that the scavenger hunt will provide new seeds for planting, news of the outside world, and any surprises that will provide for good eating and/or interesting reading. This is one of those days for a scavenger hunt . . . .

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The Littluns: Braybe, Miskey, Letsen, Brandywine, and Sneetz go down the mountain together on what should be a cautious, but pleasant outing. However, there was no way that they could have known about the evil permeating throughout the land. Disguised as Eqassym Enturim and The Necromancer, the Evil One had placed most of his dark powers into words; words reserved for his wicked purposes. By doing so, it provided him with the benefits of both worlds while carrying out his plan to deceive and corrupt its inhabitants. But, ‘The Evil One’s’ ominous Dark Book becomes lost, resulting in him becoming trapped somewhere between the living and the dead. To fulfill his plan, he must have his Book back at all costs. This faith-based story of innocence, takes you into a magical, fantasy world of imagination.

Littluns is a story for all ages, depicting everyone’s journey through life facing choices for the Light or darkness. Beginning with a simple scavenger hunt, the reader is taken on a fast roller coaster ride into the unknown.

Littluns is an action packed, exciting alternative for millions of readers. It too will have controversy due to its powerful theme, but in contrast, its enlightened values cannot be disputed and will live forever in this mythical world of wonder and enchantment that will warm your soul.

Littluns is a book for the entire family - recommended reading is for twelve years of age and above. The novel’s Judeo-Christian values should appeal to both religious and secular readers. Even others may find the read to be, at the very least, entertaining and thought provoking. Uniquely, Littluns is written in the present-tense, third omniscient voice with the intent for the reader to have a live experience as if they are watching a movie. The sixty-three color illustrations complete the visual reading experience. This is a page-turner where the reader will never be able to predict what will happen next…surprised, but never disappointed. “Littluns” will also stir the reader’s every emotion while presenting real-life examples that everyone can relate to.

Meet the Littluns . . . . Braybe Livingston teaches Littlun history to younger than young younguns. He can be quite impatient and has no problem expressing himself. One day he kept his whole class after school because he felt that they were not grasping the forefather’s text on the importance of self-government. Every one really did understand how democracy has provided peace and harmony for all Littluns; they just liked to hear him talk. While most Littluns’ round ears stick out, Braybe’s ears point slightly backwards. His nervous temperament, quick walk, and lots of Crick-golf force him to eat more to keep up his weight.

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Miskey Honeywell is the librarian for the town of Littleton. He’s read every book and from memory can point to any title’s location in the library. He even wrote several spy novels himself; the subjects of which can spur animated conversations. One such novel was about a spy commissioned to find Littluns. It kept many a Littlun up very late reading to find out if the spy was successful. Of course, the mole slipped off the mountain before he could reach the In-N-Out, which was a great relief to all of Miskey’s Littlun readers. Miskey has a slightly larger than normal head, which some Littluns credit with his great ability to store all that knowledge.

Letsen Overland is the most experienced of any young-un scavengers with, to date, a total of five outings under his belt. This will be his sixth. Normally, Letsen supervises all the gardening and tree trimming throughout Hollow Hills. He has a larger than normal nose and stands taller than the others by a staggering three inches.

Brandywine Weatherspoon, Brandy for short, is a gourmet cook, which is obvious when looking at him. He’s at least twenty pounds heavier than the average Littlun and quite proud of it. Brandy is often heard saying, “To be a good cook, all you have to do is buy a cookbook. To be a great cook, you write your own. That takes many tastings through trial and error, an insatiable appetite, which is no problem for any Littlun; and a tummy that welcomes change.”

There are many large and small waterfalls throughout the valley of Hollow Hills. By far, the most impressive waterfall in the entire valley is at the Littlun residence of

Sneetz Summerville

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He actually has three waterfalls that drop from the top of a rocky aqueduct into several elevated pools that empty into a larger waterfall that fills a large pool at its base. Pool parties and fishing are commonplace at the Summerville home. Being a youngun, Sneetz is still single and doing just about anything he pleases. Littluns usually get married and start a family when they reach middleun status. For now, Sneetz has big plans. Somewhere between fishing, Crick-golf, parties, gardening, and general fun, he is contemplating expanding his living space. This takes a lot of thought and cannot be rushed. Sneetz comes from a long line of Summervilles who made their fortunes making and selling fishing lures. Fishing is easy with a “Summerville Lure,” and for as long as anyone can remember, there has never been any need for competition, making Sneetz a very wealthy Littlun. In his spare time, Sneetz continues to produce the Summerville Lure, which is sold in his store, appropriately named “Summerville’s” in the town of Littleton. Littluns means “little people who live within.” From the inner crater walls of Powder Mountain to their homes and businesses built into the environment and community of Hollow Hills, Littluns symbolize all that is good and true. Littluns measure about three feet in height, give or take a few inches, and are usually well-rounded in appearance, due to their insatiable appetites and the many social events that provide good reasons for good eating. They have very large ears, three fingers and a thumb, and furry feet with thick soles, eliminating the need for socks and shoes. The only exception is when going down the mountain on a scavenger hunt where boots also add several inches to there height, etc. Birthdays are celebrated in a big way, but unlike humans, Littluns don’t measure age in terms of years. They sometimes refer to themselves as “younger than younguns, younguns, middleuns, or olderuns,” but without any number attached. They are forever young in appearance and retain a child-like innocence throughout their long life. It is estimated that Littluns live to be over three hundred human years, more or less. 58


A typical Littlun abode, Sneetz’s home is built into rolling hills surrounded with manicured trees, bushes and a multicolored garden. His pool flows out and down throughout the valley of Hollow Hills where it eventually merges into other rivers and multiple lakes. The land of the Littluns is perfection personified, but today is Scavenger Hunt Day where the above five citizens of Hollow Hills will journey down from their secret mountain location to the lands of Terra Fermata and into the unknown. To purchase your copy of Littluns by Mark Glamack, please visit his website at http://www.littluns.net/pages/order.html You can also read much more about the adventures of the Littluns at http://www.littluns.net/pages/about.html You can also purchase

Littluns from the Ruby for Women community website at www.rubyfowomen.ning.com

Here is a book mark for you to print out and use as you are reading your copy of Littluns by Mark Glamack!

Littluns has been honored with this great award which represents the best in family-friendly media, products, and services.

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g{x `tÇç fçÅuÉÄá Éy itÄxÇà|Çx:á Wtç yÜÉÅ i|Çàtzx \Åtzx VÜtyà The origins of Valentines Day can be traced back to pagan fertility rites, and a medieval best-seller on the lives of saints, The Golden Legend, compiled in 1260 by Jacopo da Vargine. In this somewhat fanciful depiction of various Christian martyrs, the author describes a fateful confrontation between a priest named Valentine and the pagan Roman Emperor Claudius II in the year 280. Before his subsequent execution by beheading, Valentine performs a miracle and heals the blind daughter of his jailer. With time, an additional legend was woven into the story: Emperor Claudius has now imprisoned Valentine for secretly performing wedding ceremonies for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. On the eve of his execution, he sends a note to his jailer's daughter, signed "From your Valentine." A holiday and a Hallmark fortune are born. The oldest known greeting card of any kind is a Valentine written in the 1400s by Charles, Duke of Orleans, which is now displayed at the British Museum. From the 15th century on, written Valentine sentiments were commonly exchanged on St. Valentine's burial day, February 14. By the mid-19th century, Valentine greetings went into mass-production (although many were hand-painted) in England. Within decades, Valentine cards were overwhelming printers and postal systems every February across the European and American continents. Cupid, the Roman deity of erotic love, rules over Valentine's Day. Depicted as a chubby child with wings, he is armed with a bow and quiver of arrows which can inspire true love with a single shot. Doves figure highly among Valentine symbols, dating from a reference to their mating on that date by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1382. Symbols of love such as hearts, flowers, music, the colors red and pink, romantic letters, locks and keys, gold rings, the moon, kissing, and generally mooning about are all emblems of the holiday. 60


W|w çÉâ ~ÇÉã A A A Esther Howland (1828-1904) of Massachusetts is considered the "mother of the modern Valentines." She received her first Valentine from England in 1847, and within a few years was manufacturing and selling her own card designs incorporating imported paper lace and floral scraps. She retired a wealthy woman in 1881. "The earliest Valentines were delivered by hand and were often accompanied by a small gift such as flowers or a lace handkerchief. With the arrival of a regulated postal system there was a rapid escalation in the production and sending of valentines. Though most of the postcards are post1900, the various types of valentines were in great demand long before then. Lace valentines, beautifully lithographed cards, ones that opened up with honeycomb hearts, or with die-cut cupids and children, are all part of the evolution of the holiday. In Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom, lovely die-cut and lithographed valentines were produced. Here in America, Esther Howland began hand-cutting lace valentines that were later machine produced by the Whitney Company." From Postmarked Yesteryear, by Pamela E. Apkarian-Russell. For more information on the history of Valentine’s Day, please visit Vintage Image Craft at www.vintageimagecraft.com where you will find beautiful vintage images to use in all of your Valentine’s Day crafts.

Make your own Valentine’s Day Treasure Envelopes! Over the centuries, envelopes have contained many secrets and declarations of true love, so it's appropriate to use a group of them to store dear old letters and treasured notes -- or to fill them with trinkets for your valentine. Just stick several envelopes together, using their own adhesive; then insert your keepsakes, and tie the bundle with the most beautiful ribbon you can find. First, fold the flaps back on all but one of the envelopes you want to join. With the unfolded flap on the bottom, stack the envelopes, open side up. Moisten folded flaps; affix each to the envelope behind it. Punch a hole through the bottom center of all the envelopes; insert keepsakes, and fold last flap over. Thread a ribbon through the hole, and tie. 61


February Fun Double Puzzle by Beth Brubaker

Answer Key is on page 79

February Ruby Pearls by Beth Brubaker The Bible charges us to love our neighbors and our enemies; probably because they are usually the same people. -G.K. Chesterton February 7th is Greet Your Neighbor Day! Let God's love shine through you as you greet those around your neighborhood!

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I Glance Up I glance up; you look down from your frame our eyes meet. My expression changes with the warming of cheek and tightening of eye. Your expression, tied to canvas, conveys only the love you had when the shutter fell.

by Keith Wallis

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Elegant Vintage Valentine Clock from Vintage Image Craft Is it time to create a unique Valentine’s Day Gift? Make this elegant Vintage Valentine Clock, and your sweetie’s heart will take flight! Right on time! A Valentine clock? Isn't that about as traditional as the Easter pig? You'll change your mind about that and fall in love with this easy and elegant Valentine craft. The beauty behind this lovely clock gift is its simple construction. Start with an empty, 7" cardboard heart-shaped candy box (You may have to empty several, so have an appetite). Glue on a vintage image clock face. Punch a hole and insert a battery clock. Add a cardboard support in back. Now embellish with gold braid and fluffy, feathered wings. That's it - basically paper, scissors, glue and a clock. With the FREE Vintage Image Download, we gave you some "Valen-time" sayings for your Valentine clock - our clock above says "Tempus fugit, Valentine." You may want to personalize your clock with your sweetie's name. Very timely!

Materials for Valentine Clock Craft • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Vintage Image and Templates (see below) printed on matte or glossy photo paper. Print the wings and stand templates on plain paper. Print the text on translucent vellum. Heart-shaped cardboard candy box, 7" high, 7" wide and about 1" deep. (see Tips). Battery clock movement (see Tips). Gold braid or gimp, 30". Narrow ribbon, 7", any color. White feathers (see Tips). Medium cardboard, like tagboard. Tacky craft glue (like Alene's) or spray adhesive. Glue stick. Hot glue gun. Double stick tape. Spray paint (optional) (see Tips). Decorative edge scissors (deckle edge). Scissors. Hole punch (1/8" hole).

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STEP #1: Print out the vintage image clock face and all templates. Position the clock face in the center of the box lid, trace the lid shape on the back of the image, and cut it out (see Tips). Glue the image to the box lid with tacky white glue or spray adhesive. Press it flat until the glue is dry.

STEP #2: Cut or punch a 1/4" hole in the center of the clock face (marked with a small + just below the heart) for the clock stem.

STEP #3: Cut a 2 1/2" square of 3/16" foamcore or corrugated cardboard (adjust the thickness of the foamcore or cardboard according to the length of the clock stem (see Tips). Mark the center of the square with two diagonal lines, and punch or cut a 1/4" hole. Align the hole with the hole in the lid and glue the foamcore inside the box lid. STEP #4: Secure the clock movement to the foam core in the lid with double stick tape. Attach the hands and hex nut on the face of the clock.

STEP #5: Cut the vellum with the printed Valentine text into a 6" long strip with decorative edge scissors. Paint the edges with a gold paint pen. Attach the strip to the face of the clock at an angle with a few dabs of glue stick. Trim the ends even with the edges of the box lid.

STEP #6: Glue the gold braid (Martha Stewart calls it gimp) around the outside edge of the box lid with the hot glue gun. Start and end at the bottom point of the heart and trim the excess braid.

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STEP #7: Trace the Valentine clock stand template onto tagboard. Score and fold the top of the stand and glue it to the top of the back of the box. Punch 1/8" holes at the bottom of the back of the box and the center of the bottom of the stand. Knot the 7" ribbon at one end, thread it through the hole in the box and the hole in the stand, and knot it at the other end.

STEP #8: Trace the wings templates onto tagboard and cut them out. Glue them to the back of the box. Glue feathers onto the front of the wings (see Tips).

STEP #9: Now, replace the top on the box and stand your clock up. Yes, you can embellish further if you wish. Perhaps some glitter on the face of your Valentine clock? Victorians would have loved that!

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Tips: * We chose the most common heart-shaped Valentine candy box size we could find: 7" high, 7" wide, and 1" deep. Good old Russell Stover candy. The box should be entirely cardboard. Some boxes have molded plastic between the lids, but these will take a lot of cutting to allow room for the clock mechanism inside. If the top of the box is embossed, just burnish the embossing flat or add another layer of paper under the vintage image clock face. * Clock mechanisms are available at craft stores. We used one manufactured by Walnut Hollow labeled "quartz clock movement for 1/4 inch surfaces." This means that the stem for the hands is a little over 1/4" long. If the face of your clock is 1/4" thick, this movement allows a fraction more for the threaded hex bolt to secure it to the face of the clock. Since our cardboard box lid was too thin, we glued a small square of 3/16" thick foamcore between the clock and the lid. Perfect! By the way, these flimsy little clock movements are expensive in a craft store. When we see cheap battery clocks at the Dollar Store or a thrift store, we buy them just for the movements. * The easiest way to position the clock face image on the box lid is to lay the image on the lid, hold it up to a window, and shift them until it looks perfectly centered. Then lay it face down and trace around the lid. Alternatively, you can find the center of the lid by cutting a paper pattern of the lid, folding it into perfect quarters, and marking the intersection of the folds. Match this up with the center of the clock face (the tiny + sign just below the heart), and trace around it. * This is the first time we've worked with feathers, and the experience was eye-opening. We used filmy white marabou feathers, as opposed to studier turkey feathers. When we were done, there was feather-fuzz floating everywhere. Beware, and have a vacuum cleaner nearby. The easiest way we found to attach the feathers was one by one, with a thin line of hot glue down the back spine of each feather. It didn't take many to cover a wing - maybe 6-8 feathers. Feather-phobic? Cut out a small feather pattern from plain white paper, score lengthwise for dimension and fringe the edges with scissors. Layer them on and you'll have much the same look. * We used fancy gold braid (or what Martha Stewart calls gimp) around the face of our Valentine clock, but almost anything will work. We also tried out a string of pearls and some tiny lace trim, and both looked smashing.

www.vintageimagecraft.com 67


Vintage Valentine Image and Clock Templates from Vintage Image Craft

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Tempus fugit, Valentine

\àËá à|Åx yÉÜ ÄÉäx? itÄxÇà|Çx Time for love, Valentine It’s Valen-time! My clock is ticking, Valentine 71


A Strange Purchase a short story by Lee E. Shilo It was in an old antique book that I had purchased long ago and nearly forgot all about. I found it again one rainy afternoon and began to read it, just to stave off my boredom. It told of a young man on the brink of self-realization. A petty man, a vain man, a man of leisure and means. It seemed to read as a biography, but I could not be sure without reading further. It began telling of a self portrait that had been painted in the heat of a vain request to the devil himself. The painting was completed shortly after midnight and the sole request was to live forever past midnight at his most virile and handsomest time of youth. Of course, it was not until twenty years later on in his life, when he came to the conclusion that his request had been granted. He had not aged a day since the completion of the self portrait. The picture lay in his attic and he had not gazed upon it in all that time. He had an unexplained fear of attics, so he decided to take a hand mirror and poke it up through to the attic and view his painting that way. When finally locating the painting through the use of the mirror, he was astonished at what he saw. The painting itself had aged considerably, where he had not. Fearing that if he gazed upon the painting with his real eyes alone, he would instantly break the spell of eternal youth, he commissioned some carpenters to build a permanent false ceiling, so that the painting itself would never be discovered. After sealing up the house, he moved to England and started a new life. At the end of that old book I discovered an addendum. It professed that he was a she, and that she only wrote under a masculine name to protect her anonymity. It further went on to say she had found a true love in her new country of England. The young man that she was so in love with was named, Dorian Grey. A Strange Purchase is one of the short stories in Lee’s new book, “Stranger than Things: A Study in Short Fiction,” to be published by Gossamer Wings Publications in February, 2012. For more information on Lee’s writing, please visit his website at www.shilocom.com or contact Gossamer Wings Publications at gossamerwingspublishing@hotmail.com

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Valentine’s Day Treats Cupcakes in a Jar from the kitchen of Vintage Mama The other day while I was looking for a fun activity to do with the girls, I came across the idea of baking cupcakes (or miniature cakes) in canning jars. What a great idea! So we did a bit of experimenting and came up with a couple of pretty pink Valentine’s Day Cupcake in a Jar recipes. Both of these recipes have been adapted from recipes we found online at www.allrecipes.com and www.babble.com These sweet treats travel well, so if you would like to take a batch of cakes in a jar to a friend or neighbor, or even ship them to your Valentine who lives far away, this is the perfect way to say “I Love You!” this Valentine’s Day.

Pinkalicious CakeCake-InIn-A-Jar • • • •

1 box strawberry cake mix, prepared according to package directions 1 jar strawberry frosting 3 pint-sized canning jars Pink sprinkles

Thoroughly wash and dry the inside of each canning jar. Spray the inside of each jar thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. Spoon about 1 cup of cake batter into each jar. Cook one jar at a time in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until the cake is cooked through. Allow jars to cool slightly, then scoop the top half of cake from the jar. Plop a dollop of frosting into the center of the jar, then replace the top half of the cake back in the jar. Add enough frosting to fill the rest of the jar. Finish off with pink sprinkles. Serve immediately or cover with a lid and store in the fridge or pop into the mail & surprise someone you love! Cakes should stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days, and can be mailed so long as they are topped with a canning jar lid and arrive at their final destination within 3 days.

www.mamaslittletreasures.etsy.com 73


Pink Lemonade with Lemon Curd Filling Cake in a Jar What you need: Makes 6 individual servings 1 box of white cake mix {+ ingredients to make cake} 1 tablespoon pink lemonade mix {I used Crystal Light} 6 tablespoons lemon curd – divided zest of 2 lemons – divided 8 ounces whipped topping Let’s make it! 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 6 – 8 ounce mason jars with cooking spray and place them into a deep sided baking dish. 2. Into your mixer add ingredients per cake box instructions, plus the pink lemonade mix. Mix well to combine. 3. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of batter into each mason jar. Top with 1 tablespoon of lemon curd. Top with additional 1/2 cup of batter. And a sprinkle of lemon zest to each. 4. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes OR until it passes the toothpick test. 5. After removing from oven, allow cakes to cool completely. Once cooled, top with whipped topping and lemon zest.

Make Your Own Lemon Curd What you’ll need: 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter – room temperature 1 cup Sugar 2 eggs + 2 additional egg yolks ¾ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice Let’s make it! 1. Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until it’s light and creamy (a few minutes). Add your eggs in one a time, mixing well after each addition. Add lemon juice and mix together. Note: the mixture will look like cottage cheese but will become silky and smooth during cooking. 2. Transfer the mixture into a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Heat the pan over low-medium heat for approximately 10 minutes until the mixture thickens, stirring often. If the mixture is not thickening, increase your heat slightly and continue to stir. 3. Transfer the cooled mixture into a mason jar with a lid and refrigerate.

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The Visionary by Pamela Thibodeaux A visionary is someone who sees into the future. Taylor Forrestier sees into the past but only as it pertains to her work. Hailed by her peers as “a visionary with an instinct for beauty and an eye for the unique” Taylor is undoubtedly a brilliant architect and gifted designer. But she and twin brother Trevor, share more than a successful business. The two share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the kind of abuse that’s disturbingly prevalent in today’s society. Can the love of God and the power of His grace and mercy free the twins from their past and open their hearts to the good plan and the future He has for their lives? Find out in . . . The Visionary . . . . where the awesome power of God’s love heals the most wounded of souls. Pamela S. Thibodeaux is multi-published in fiction and non-fiction. Her writing has been tagged as “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “Steamier and grittier than the typical Christian without decreasing the message.” She is the Co-founder and a member of the Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. As a former member of American Christian Fiction Writers (formerly ACRW), Golden Triangle Writers Guild, Coeur de Louisiane and RWA, Pam won Coeur’s 1999 “Diamond In The Rough” as well as their 2000 “Ruby” Award and received her RWA Pro Pin in 2001. A committed Christian, she firmly believes in God and His promises. God is very real to her and she feels that people today need and want to hear more of His truths wherever they can glean them. Although her writing is Inspirational, she does her best to encourage readers to develop a personal relationship with God. The deepest desire of her heart is to glorify God and to get His message of faith, trust and forgiveness to a hurting world. Her hope is that all of her stories will touch the lives of everyone who reads them and – in some way – bring them a truer knowledge of God and urge them into a closer walk with Him. Pamela has extensive experience in speaking on a wide variety of topics related to writing as well as women’s issues. To invite Pam to speak at your luncheon or event, email her at: pthib07@gmail.com http://pamelathibodeaux.com/ & http://pamswildroseblog.blogspot.com/ 75


A Pillow Undisturbed by Keith Wallis

With these tears I would cleanse your hurt; with an aching heart I would purge the pain. The pillow undisturbed proclaims, with discordant voice, you are beyond my touch when I awake from caressing you in my dreams. A note is missing from the chord the melancholy tune colours the day. So I touch you with my heart when fingers cannot reach. I touch you with my heart when you are in vision, out of sight. The pillow undisturbed lanterns dark separation, illumines spectred care. The voice I hear speaks within my head but not within my ear. So, tomorrow, in bright promise, bring us close and sing of love. 76


The Assignment by Elizabeth Baker “I’m not sure when it started,” the angel Rachel began.“ Probably Bible College. They made a lot of noise in those years about doing ‘big’ things for God. You know, ‘Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life!’ that sort of thing.” “Is that bad?” JaKobe’s eyebrows drew slightly higher and the tilt of his head followed. “Don’t be absurd,” she defended. “But how often have you seen a human who knew what a ‘big thing’ or a ‘wonderful plan’ might look like in ordinary life? It’s been seven hundred years since the warrior, JaKobe, worked on earth but when his curiosity is piqued by Rachael’s strange request, he knows time has come to return. Follow his angelic adventure as he fills an assignment others have shunned. As you view an ordinary Sunday through angel eyes, a new world of possibilities will open. It’s a view that just might change your own ordinary Sunday’s as well! Reader Comments: “I love the whole angel interaction thing. I think you have a strong premise. . . By the way, I loved the whole intro and the way JaKobe decided to enter back into the human world.” — Jim Rubart (Author who read the script) “I enjoyed the book and found the characters to be very life-like, believable, and easy to identify with. The whole concept of angels waging spiritual warfare around us without our awareness is an exciting one and you portray it very well” — Janet Ann Collins (Author who evaluated the script) “This book is very deep and meaningful and has great potential to explain the deeper issues of our faith to those whose faith wavers and who don’t understand spiritual struggles in the church. … At times there are flashes of brilliance and understanding that took my breath away. Your writing is excellent and your characters very alive and real.” — Deborah Dunn (Author who evaluated the script)

Elizabeth Baker is an author and retired counselor drawing on thirtyfive years of experience helping individuals apply biblical principles to real-life situations. She currently lives in Pittsburg, Texas where she concentrates on her writing. A widow since her mid 30's, Elizabeth has four grown children, fifteen grandchildren, and six great-grands. You can find Elizabeth’s books at her website at www.elizabethbakerbooks.com

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February Number Block Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

Mission Possible by Deborah McCarragher Deborah began her journey of creative writing soon after coming to know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior in 1989. She uses her spiritual gifts of encouragement and teaching in her home church. She is also a small business owner of over twenty years. Her primary goal is to share her personal testimony with others while bringing hope and practical help through her book. She and her husband have one married son serving in the US Military. They reside in north Florida. Mission Possible is a unique book in the Christian marketplace. It addresses a subject that is often overlooked and misunderstood. It is a candid look at my struggles and quest to reach my husband for Christ. It applies Scripture and biblical principles to everyday struggles encountered within a spiritually mismatched marriage. Mission Possible won the 2010 Readers Favorite Gold Seal Award for best Christian Non-Fiction book, and was nominated for the Christian Small Publisher’s Assoc. Book of the Year Award in 2009 http://www.Twitter.com/debitsdeb http://www.Facebook.com/Godmissionpossible http://www.Godmissionpossible.blogspot.com 78


February Fun Double Puzzle Answer Key by Beth Brubaker

www.katherinescorner.com 79


Where fitness, nutrition, and support equal success for you in 2012! http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/BlessedandFit#

I'm Christena Hammes, married to my best-friend. We met at the Outside Inn so God could change us from the Inside Out!! We have two beautiful daughters (Lena and Amanda) two son-in-laws (Cameron and Justin) and one amazing Granddaughter (Savannah Jo). I never knew what the Father's love was all about until I had children of my own. They really do hold your heart and forgiveness comes easy. http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/BlessedandFit# 80


The Ruby for Women community is a great place to meet new friends, share prayer requests, chat about your favorite books, recipes and crafts! Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to try out a few yummy new recipes! Here in the Kitchen of Ruby for Women we w Winter ill be posting new recipes weekly and we would love to have you share some of your favorite winter recipes with us, too! http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/fromthekitchenofruby

Valentine’s Day is a great time to support one another in pursuing our dreams and goals of building our online businesses. Please post your website or online business banner or logo in the Ruby Shopkeepers group so we can share your information with all of the members of the Ruby for Women community. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/rubyshopkeepers

Do you have a blog? We would love to have you share links to your latest blog posts so that we can tell all of the members of the Ruby for Women community all about it! Please visit us in our Girls Who Blog group. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/girlswhoblog

In our prayer request group, we pray for one another and uphold each other before our Heavenly Father. Please join us at We Are Praying for You and let us know how we can pray for you. http://rubyforwomen.ning.com/group/weareprayingforyou 81


Shopping for books this Valentine’s Day? Be sure to visit the Christian Book website and click through the button on the Ruby for Women community site. Every purchase you make helps support the ministry of Ruby for Women! http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/home?event=AFF&p=1164946

This Space is For Sale! If you would like to advertise in an upcoming issue of Ruby for Women, please contact Ruby for Women at editor@rubyforwomen.com for all the details

A River of Small Stones by Keith Wallis A beautiful and inspirational book of poetry, perfect for gift-giving this Christmas season Poems written as “small stones,” polished moments of paying proper attention to life Available at www.ariverofstones.blogspot.com

Keepsakes by Katherine where every day is a special occasion! www.keepsakesbykatherine.etsy.com 82


Real Pretty Pics by Angela Morris http://www.zazzle.com/realprettypics

Nana's BIG Storybook by Sheila WatsonWatson-Kraklow A collection of three of the most popular children's stories and rhymes written by Sheila Watson Kraklow, plus a bonus new story; they are all filled with the illustrations of Sheila Watson Kraklow. 131 pages Color Illustrations Complete Bible references included Ages: 5-12 Read-to-me bedtime or read alone Visit DoveQuill Publishing to order “Nana’s BIG Storybook” http://www.dove-quill-publishing.com/Nana-s-BIG-Storybook.html

Discovery House Publishers Feeding the Soul with the Word of God

Visit Discovery House Publishers at www.dhp.org 83


www.vintageimagecraft.com

A Garden of Love by Thomas B. Clarke An endearing gift book for the Christian woman who enjoys flowers www.bible-discernments.com www.prayergardeners.blogspot.com

Ruby for Women is searching for . . . Questions! We need your help! Ruby is looking for questions in the following areas: * “Ask Beth” * “Ask a Silly Question” Can you give us a hand? Please send your questions to Beth Brubaker at bethatruby@aol.com with one of the two titles in the subject line of your email. Your response is very much appreciated!

Abundant Comfort and Grace Inspirational Poetry by Connie Arnold www.conniearnold.blogspot.com 84


A Friend in Need ‌ Is there something you need, but just can't seem to find? Are you looking for a recipe, a store location, or the best places to go in a certain area? Do you have an item you would like to give to someone, but no one near you needs it? Send your requests into the magazine (bethatruby@aol.com) with 'A Friend in Need' in the subject line and we'll publish it for you! When making a request, please include a current email address for a direct reply. Those who are answering queries are to correspond to the posted email address directly, and not to the staff of Ruby for Women. Items offered must be free (except for shipping costs, agreed to be paid by the receiving party unless otherwise agreed upon by the giver and receiver). All postal regulations must be followed. Ruby for Women can not be responsible for shipping costs or lost items.

Thank you to Laura Brandt of Wentworth County Quiltworks for sharing her Bible Block Sampler with the Ruby for Women community! www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com

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Meet the Ruby for Women Writers Aunt Dots, Master Gardener Aunt Dots has been writing for Ruby for Women since the very beginning. Her love for gardening started early in her life: “I believe I got my love for growing flowers from my mother. She had a large flower garden with annuals and dahlias. I had my first flower garden after I married and we lived in a garden apartment. I planted seeds in a small 4 X 6 plot in front. Then we moved to a house trailer next to my mother where I had annuals.” She now has perennial gardens, rose gardens, grape vines, asparagus, currants, gooseberries, walnut trees, apple trees, and hazelnut trees. In the winter months, Aunt Dots sews, making quilts that she has donated to a Mennonite Relief auction. She has also made hand-made paper and greeting cards with pressed flowers. In her “spare” time, Aunt Dots volunteers two afternoons a week at a nursing home, as well as serving on the mission board at her church and teaching an adult Sunday school class.

Scott Henderson, Vintage Image Crafts Scott is the creator of Vintage Image Crafts, a website where vintage images are the inspiration behind all of the crafts and scrapbooking projects. From the romantic to the whimsical, Victorian and turn-of-the-century illustrations can give your creativity a distinctive touch. These classic illustrations and photographs are rich in color, artistic technique and symbolism. This bygone art captures the essence of life’s highlights - holidays, celebrations and sentiments – vividly. You can find Scott at www.vintageimagecrafts.com

Beth Brubaker, Footprints in the Mud and Ask Beth Beth is the “Family Fun” editor here in the Ruby for Women community. She is a mother of two very active kids whose antics are sprinkled liberally in her columns. She has been married for 13 years to her Knight in Shining Armor, and she is delighted to share with us that they still hold hands in public! Her day job is working as a fabric artist, a homemaker, and a writer. Beth will be writing humorous articles about life in general, puzzles, and an advice column that is based on readers’ questions, as well as sharing hints and tips for everyday life that she comes across in her travels between her laundry room, living room, and kitchen. Don’t miss Beth’s columns in every issue of Ruby for Women! You can read more of Beth’s posts on her blog, “Footprints in the Mud” at www.footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com or email her at bethatruby@aol.com

Laura Brandt is the owner of Wentworth County Quiltworks and a child of the King whose one desire is to please the Lord. She quilts and maintains her website and her blog, as well as serving as a Moderator at Authorized Version Bible Believers Fellowship forum. She’s also edited books for up-and-coming Christian authors. Visit Laura at her new quilting website, www.wentworthcountyquiltworks.com, her blog, http://laurasthoughtsonscripture.blogspot.com, or the forum at http://avbbf.com.

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Lynn Mosher, Devotions Since the year 2000, Lynn Mosher has lived with fibromyalgia and other physical conditions. During this time, the Lord placed the desire in her heart to write for Him. Now, armed with God’s purpose for her life and a new passion, she reaches out to others to encourage and comfort them through her writing, giving God all the glory. She lives with her husband in their empty nest in Kentucky. On occasion, their three offspring, who have flown the coop, come to visit, accompanied by a son-in-law and three granddaughters. Visit Lynn at her blog, Heading Home, at www.lynnmosher.blogspot.com

Thomas B. Clarke, “A Garden of Love” I am the caretaker of the Gethsemane Prayer Garden in Syracuse, NY, and an author/publisher of Christian books. Both gardening and writing are part-time jobs for me, but they are my heartfelt passion: to help others experience Jesus Christ in a more personal way and to grow in love. www.agardenoflove.com

Lee E. Shilo, Poetry and Short Stories I live on Vancouver Island, in Victoria, Canada, with my loving wife Elisabeth, paranoid cat, and crazy dog. I enjoy writing Poetry, Children Stories, Fantasy/Fiction, and especially (Believe It Or Not) stories. I have been writing professionally for close to 20 years, and have numerous Published Books / eBooks in that time. At present I am retired, but used to work in the print industry producing Wide Format Displays for Conferences and stuff. As well as being my passion, writing affords me some release of daily frustrations and everyday tensions. www.shilocom.com

Katherine Corrigan, Recipes and Crafts Hello, my name is Katherine. I am an open minded and spiritual person who strives to always maintain a positive attitude and greet each new day with grace, dignity and gratitude. I’m honored to meet you and to call you friend! I am originally from England and now living in the US. I have had the privilege of living in, and visiting, several different countries throughout my lifetime. I hold a rare dual citizenship with the UK and the USA, and I am a proud citizen of both. I work very hard to create designs for my shops and to provide an entertaining and informative website and blog. I hope you’ll stop by. Hugs, Katherine www.madeitforyou.com www.giftsbykatherine.com www.katherinescorner.com

Jennifer Cirka, Crochet Patterns and Recipes Jennifer Cirka, the designer behind Jaybird Designs, is never without a hook and some yarn in her hands! This Crochet Guild of America recognized Professional Crochet Designer has a book of her girls’ sweater designs with Leisure Arts and has been featured in major crochet magazines such as Crochet Today, Interweave Crochet, and Crochet World, with more publications coming out each year! www.jaybirddesigns.com www.jaybirddesigns.blogspot.com www.etsy.com/shop/JaybirdDesigns

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Theresa Ceniccola

is The Christian Mompreneur, a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. She empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace through the Christian Mompreneur Mastermind program and her professional Marketing services, which include copywriting, marketing and strategy consulting and private coaching. www.theresaceniccola.com.

Sarah Johnson is happily married to Christopher and they are the proud parents of a “terribly terrific 3-year-old little lady”!

Kristin Bridgman

I’ve been married to a very sweet, patient, loving man for 29 years. I’ve been a mom to two sons I love with all my heart for 22 years. I’ve been a born again Christian loving the Lord for 36 years. I home schooled for 14 years. I’m just an ordinary woman who lives for an extraordinary God. http://www.ponderingsbykris.blogspot.com

Yvonne Anderson, The Doctor’s Innsite I have been called to teach. It is one of the five-fold ministry gifts with Jesus as the Master Teacher. For a while, I had forgotten that teaching is a ministry. God allowed me to take some time off to regain my focus. I know today that teaching is my ministry and that I am called, anointed, and appointed to this field to further His Kingdom.

Connie Arnold, Poet

lives in North Carolina, is married and has two children and three grandchildren. In coping with lupus, fibromyalgia and other difficulties, she has turned to the Lord for inspiration and offers her inspirational poetry to offer encouragement, comfort and hope to others who are suffering. She is the author of Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, Abiding Hope and Love, and Abundant Comfort and Grace plus a new 2012 inspirational calendar, Glimpses of Grace. She also writes for children and is the author of Animal Sound Mix-up and has two other children’s books under contract. You can visit Connie at www.conniearnold.webs.com or her blog, www.conniearnold.blogspot.com

Sheila Watson, Kraklow, Guest Writer, DoveQuill Publishers Sheila is the author of several books, including “Nana’s Great BIG Storybook,” and “A Mission for Leedle Burro,” as well as a cookbook filled with her “sassy recipe” articles. Sheila is also the owner of DoveQuill Publishing Company. www.dove-quill-publishing.com

Deborah McCarragher, Devotional Contributor Deborah is the author of a Christian inspirational book for women titled “Mission Possible”. The book addresses living in a spiritually-uneven household. You can visit her website at www.AlabasterBoxPublishing.com for more information about her book. 88


Marcia Settles is a stay-at-home homeschool mom of a special learner and a toddler. She has resolved in 2012 to honor God in Spirit, Mind and Body. She enjoys reading and blogging about motherhood, nutrition, special needs and our honorable calling as women. You can check out her new blog at www.lovinggodwithspiritmindandbody.blogspot.com

Angela Blake Morris “I am a fairly new Christian led to Christ by a friend and my daughter’s insistence that we go to church. That began a journey for me that has been awesome and inspiring. I now have my own blog page where we seek to lift up stay-at-home moms and homeschooling families, Chronicles of Christian Moms.” http://csahm.webs.com

Amy Lignor began her career at Grey House Publishing in northwest Connecticut where she was the Editor-in-Chief of numerous educational and business directories. Now she is a published author of several works of fiction. The Billy the Kid historical The Heart of a Legend; the thriller, Mind Made; and the adventure novel, Tallent & Lowery 13. She is also the owner of The Write Companion, a company that offers help and support to writers through a full range of editorial services from proofreading and copyediting to ghostwriting and research. As the daughter of a research librarian, she is also an active book reviewer. Currently she lives with her daughter, mother, and a rambunctious German shepherd named Reuben in the beautiful state of New Mexico.

Scarlett Von Gunten, CEO & Editor of iWoman Magazine. For more information or to contact Scarlett, please visit her at www.iwomanmag.com

Elizabeth Baker is an author and retired counselor drawing on thirty-five years of experience helping individuals apply biblical principles to real-life situations. She currently lives in Pittsburg, Texas where she concentrates on her writing. A widow since her mid 30's, Elizabeth has four grown children, fifteen grandchildren, and six great-grands. You can find Elizabeth’s books at her website at www.elizabethbakerbooks.com

Mimi Spurlock

“I live in beautiful East Texas where I am enjoying retirement. I attend Calvary Baptist Church and am a substitute teacher for our Ladies' Sunday School Class. Writing is something I have always loved. Little did I know how important that writing would be in the months following the death of my grandson, Dane. And our faithful Lord used writing and speaking at rehab centers to help bring healing to my grieving heart. I have one daughter and one grandson, Hagen, who is fifteen years old and loves to hunt and fish. He's quite good at both. I pray my article might somehow bless another heart.” You can read Mimi’s book, “And God Sent the Dragonflies,” at Authonomy http://www.authonomy.com/books/40949/and-god-sent-the-dragonflies/read-book/ 89


Keith Wallis, Poetry Keith Wallis is an English poet. He is a senior part of the leadership team of Houghton Regis Baptist church. An engineering designer by trade, he brings a eye for detail as well as faith into his poetry. As well as being ‘poet in residence’ at Ruby ezine, he is a moderator at ChristianWriters.com. His blog of ekphrasic poetry is: http://wordsculptures-keith.blogspot.com/ where you’ll also find links to his books and his other blogs. Married to Val in 1970, he has two sons and three grandsons. The eldest grandson is disabled and cannot communicate verbally. Though not an ‘academic’ (school was a disaster) he was always fond of writing. He began submitting work for publication in the 1980’s after being encouraged by a community writer in residence.

Kausar Iqbal, East World Market and CD Crafts East World Market actively supports arts and crafts in Pakistan. We market creative products by underprivileged women internationally, and help them to become self-sufficient. The artisans on our team come from many small cities across the nation and are trained in a broad range of crafts. By channeling their talents, these artisans have managed to make a viable living for themselves, and have grown in their respective specializations. Now, EWM aims to showcase them actively in the American and international markets.

Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor Amanda has been writing for Ruby for Women for the past year, and she has been a free-lance writer for several years, beginning her writing career as a young teenager. She also works for Love Unveiled, a ministry to women in undeveloped countries around the world. Amanda brings experience as well as a passion for ministry to the work of Ruby for Women, and she has a heart for reaching out and touching the hearts and lives of women everywhere. Amanda will be working with all of our writers on their submissions, as well as assisting in keeping the Ruby for Women blog and website up-to-date with new information daily.

Nina Newton, Sr. Editor When all of my four older children were in school, I returned to college as a “nontraditional student.” Eventually, I earned degrees in Classics and Philosophy, and a graduate degree in Medieval Studies: History of Theology. After teaching at a small community college in Michigan for seven years, my husband and I were blessed with the adoption of our two beautiful daughters, Gracie and Annie. Gracie is 11 years old and Annie is 9. They were both born in China, and we were able to travel to China two times to bring our daughters home. We live in northern Indiana in a small farming community where I work from my home office. For the past six years I have been designing and creating children’s clothing and various crafts. I began writing ebook patterns for my designs in 2007, and have several patterns available for sale on You Can Make This at www.youcanmakethis.com . I have also been a free-lance writer for many years, writing for two local newspapers when we lived in Michigan. My personal blog is at www.mamaslittletreasures.com where I frequently post tutorials and patterns for crafts and other sewing projects, as well as weekly reflections on life as a woman, wife, mother, and daughter of the King.

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Credits and Copyrights All stories and articles are copyright by the authors. All pictures and images are copyright by the authors and / or have been purchased, used by permission or are in the public domain. If any pictures or images have been used inadvertently, and they do not belong in this publication, please email us and we will immediately remove them. Nothing in this issue of Ruby for Women may be reproduced, copied, or shared without the permission of the author. Advertising information is available at www.rubyforwomen.com/advertise Questions? Email Nina @ editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda @ ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Ruby for Women is published by Gossamer Wings Publications www.gossamerwingspublishing@hotmail.com All submission inquiries should be directed to Nina Newton, Sr. Editor Ruby for Women editor@rubyforwomen.com or Amanda Johnson, Assistant Editor ajohnson@rubyforwomen.com Advertising inquiries should be directed editor@rubyforwomen.com Cover illustration for “The Story of St. Valentine� by Rebecca Evans of Rebecca Evans Illustrations

http://www.etsy.com/shop/RebeccaEvans Web Design and Creative Consultant, Katherine Corrigan of Made It For You www.madeitforyou.com Please visit our community website at www.rubyforwomen.ning.com to see how you can help support the ministry of Ruby for Women. Special thanks to Scott and Martin of Vintage Image Craft for sharing their amazing craft ideas with the Ruby for Women community!

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Ruby for Women, February, 2012 0102  

The Valentine's Day issue of Ruby for Women features recipes and craft tutorials, stories, poetry and puzzles, and The Story of St. Valentin...

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